Old Dog Learning New Tricks?

September 9, 2016

At the time of writing here in September 2016 I have been in the photography game a little over 5 years, so in the grand scheme of things very little time at all! My creative shift towards photography as an outlet was sparked by a steadily growing interest in HDR, so the head first dive into this pool of expression was geared towards this genre specifically. Learning curves can be a wonderful thing, especially if like me you like to consume yourself in a subject, absorbing and learning the delights that come coupled with the inevitable high's and lows that holds it fragile hand at times. Thankfully for most people you reach a point that you kind of know what you are doing, that's not saying the learning stops, it never does, you just get to a point that you are comfortable! Throwing yourself into a subject as broad as photography tends to set your eyes towards a variety of genres in the inevitable search for inspiration, some will hold a passing interest whilst others will hold your gaze more firmly, slowly starting to influence the creative body of work that defines you as an artist..... I reached that point!

Having always held an interest in our countries heritage and the beauty that is on our own doorstep, I have always taken time to try and reflect that in my work, especially as the decay that unfortunately afflicts much of the treasure that surround us is particularly atmospheric in HDR. This interest started to extend much deeper as I started to cast my eye towards the highly documentation orientated Street Photography genre. The reading and learning started all over again, researching the history of street photography, techniques over the years and the preferred equipment and set-ups, just absorbing all I could whilst starting to play with the idea using a mobile phone. After getting some reasonable results and reaching a decision that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, well at least i think you can!! 

So with the aforementioned in mind and a dipping of toe into mirrorless camera's I have embarked on a journey of experimentation into a new genre. My first official 'Street Photography' session went well last week, which amounted to a street walk around Newcastle upon Tyne. First steps can be hard no matter what your field of work, and this has been no different for me, though i have been quite pleased with the first glimpses of work in this now ongoing project, a few of which can be viewed littered through this blog post.

Working within the relative confines and comfort of your normal photography makes you feel safe and can have the negative effect of not striving to improve or better the work that you are already achieving, this is why trying something totally different can have the side effect of invigorating the work you are also currently doing. It can be a shock to the system, I found going from safety of my tripod and very considered set-up of HDR to the hand holding spur of the moment street photography very jarring. The point is that even if you find that you don't like the different style of photography that you are experimenting with, you will be learning additional skills that can be applied to your favored style, perhaps new things about your camera that you did not realize were there....and at the end of the day all you have lost is a bit of time, time that is never wasted in actuality while learning.

Until next time,

 

Scott Read

 

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