Firstly, I’d like to apologies for the lack of posts on Pictured.Blog. I was hoping to post and share while I was away on my holiday in Europe. But to be quite honest there was so much happening that I didn’t have the energy.
On average, my partner and I were walking 20km a day. I spent many of my nights editing my sisters’ wedding photos, and in between, I was editing photographs from the street photos I was taking. All this while trying to navigate new cities. Seeing new sites and transferring between hotels and locations, I didn’t think I would give the posts the attention they deserved.
So here I am, home from my holiday, and ready to share with you everything I have learned, seen and done. Firstly, I need to get this off my chest; Coming home from this holiday was very difficult for me – it was ever so magical. Secondly – I’ve had a horrible time with sharing my photos on Instagram. For whatever reason, Instagram has reduced the visibility of my work to even my family.
this holiday helped me find my identity as a photographer
My goal for Instagram is straightforward; I use the platform to share photos, and those who want to see it (family, friends or otherwise) can follow me on Instagram. But no one in my immediate friends and family circle were able to view my posts without having to navigate to my account directly. What’s the point if my family don’t see my work due to these ridiculous algorithms?
Anyway moving on from Instagram frustration – this holiday helped me find my identity as a photographer. For the longest of time, all I could think about was I was a photographer without a purpose. Just someone who did street photography felt a little empty. Until I found myself whilst walking the streets of the Barcelona Gothic Quater
I have felt very unsuccessful recently. Before my trip, my photos felt forced, uninspired and were boring. My initial success and finalist position in Lens Culture streets awards felt fleeting, and I was starting to wonder what the point of my work was.
Geometry, realism, abstractionism – it didn’t make sense to pursue these ideas without knowing why I was pursuing them. “Because I did it well” didn’t seem fitting anymore. My hunger to improve and amount my thoughts to an identity began to weight on my mind.
I discovered that people evoking emotions as shapes could fit into my aesthetic as long as I was more selective and strategic about what I was photographing.
I knew I was attracted to these scenes, and I knew I wanted to approach them the Ed way. I prefer to select images and photograph them which align with my feelings rather than subscribing to expectation and standard. What is thriving on Instagram feels almost like a silo. The Instagram account “Street Repeat” is a perfect example of this. So I stuck to that at least, but I wanted to develop my ideas beyond just shapes and my representation of people as objects.
It took me a while to figure out how to close the gap. I discovered that people evoking emotions as shapes could fit into my aesthetic as long as I was more selective and strategic about what I was photographing. I started developing a better sense of what I wanted to combat my feelings of loss. But it all clicked when I was in Barcelona.
The photo above wasn’t a happy accident. Or a spray and pray. I took two frames; this is the second of the two. The first was a little darker than this one, and the figures weren’t as developed in their stride. So the second of the two fell into place as I was able to slow the shutter speed down just in time for the figures to fall in place.
For about three days, I had been walking through the Gothic quarter, chasing this scene. This moment was barely a second in time, and I had the birds, windows, graphic art and people I wanted just where I wanted them. Inspired by Henri-Cartier Bresson’s photo of boys playing in Spain, I wanted to construct a version of it that was my own.
It was when the second of the two frames appeared on my screen that I had my epiphany. For the longest of time, I chased scenes hoping my eye was well enough developed to see them. The idea of composing was abstract, but in this frame alone, I showed a strategy and ability to find what I was looking for in a far more direct and intended way.
The method is complicated and will likely seem me presenting fewer photos. But I now realise it’s more about developing a quality of images that align more closely to my ideas than producing a constant stream of pictures for its own sake. Comfort washed over me as I realised this. A calm and patients now envelop my minds as I think in excitement what I am going to photograph next.