Month: July 2018
I have always been passionate about Photography Projects and I even include Projects in my talks and workshops. Projects are fantastic for personal development but frustrating all at the same time. The hardest part with most projects is getting started ! Once you are started its not too hard to stay motivated, as long as its a short project. A short project is for around a year.
I started my ‘Where is Jane’ & ‘Where’s Jane’ project about six months ago but its not been going to plan. Its a long term, double project based on my old facebook posts about my travels with Jane.
I got it wrong from the start and decided to shoot the project in Colour and with the Fujifilm GFX because I wanted to put the images in a Exhibition with really big prints. The downside to this idea was I really don’t carry the GFX with me everywhere I go with Jane, so the projects were not really getting off the ground and I ended up shooting with all types of camera, also I am not a fan of colour so it was all at a standstill !
This weekend in Edinburgh I shot the black and white image above and it was that lightbulb moment ! I was doing it all wrong and it should be in black and white and not camera specific !
So I am going to start the project from scratch but this also means I can add into the project all the old images from facebook that made me want to start the project in the first place.
‘Where is Jane’ & ‘Where’s Jane’ are two very simple projects, one is looking for Jane in the images and the other is knowing where she is in the world ! Trust me its confusing enough for me especially as I am Dyslexic so just the wording alone is confusing.
Below is a set of images for ‘Where is Jane’.. as in where in the world…
The following set is for looking for Jane..
Some are easy and some are a little harder !
Some are a cross between the two projects..
Still Confused ?
I always find it interesting how a project evolves over time. The ‘Where is Jane’ project has been stalled for far too long but now at last I have found a way forward. Hopefully one day it will be a book and an exhibition. Its still a little confusing but I am quite sure it will all make sense in the end ! I hope.
I have been driving myself and Jane mad for the last few weeks, its that time in my life that many of us look forward to but its is scary as hell ! Retirement ! What does it even mean, well I think I am searching for the answer. I know what I want to do from 2022 onwards its just the next four years that are driving me nuts.
I plan to Semi Retire in October 2018 but that has taken its toll on my thought pattern, so much so that I have not been sleeping and every day I feel this massive pull to go out and find great light and photograph people but at the same time I need to finish planning and also get all the work done that needs doing with Fujiholics and my own company.
I have been searching for the answers to a million questions in my head about the future and how to say NO ! But I find it hard to get the balance right ! Not quite as easy as I thought it would be. I think its trying to slow the creative productive brain down and make it change direction. I guess its like slamming the breaks on whilst on black ice, you just don’t know where you might end up.
I do have a plan but at the moment I am spinning on black ice searching for grip.
I spend most weeks trying to pull other photographers out of a dip in mojo or loss of inspiration and this is a little like that but more information overload.
The image above I think was me regaining grip and starting to get myself back on track, as the guy came in to view and I read what it said on his bag and I set up the shot I had a massive grin on my face. I guess I am Searching for incredible in my work at all times and searching always for answers. Its what I think we strive for as Professional Photographers but sometimes never find.
The most important thing about today was the simple fact I was out making photographs and enjoying it again and that has been so rare over the last few years so seeing this bag and smiling was just the traction I needed to steer me in the right direction.
I guess we all struggle to get the work life balance right and being a full time self employed Photographer the work life balance can go right out of the window ! I have always had a big problem saying no to work and this year has been no exception. I expected after finishing working with Fujifilm UK in February things would go quiet and I could look forward to just planning my own workshops and time away for Jane and I. I soon worked out its not quite that simple. The downside to our lifestyle at the moment is Jane works for the NHS and has mostly weekends off and I work most weekends so we don’t see much of each other at times, so we get used to quite a lot of time apart.
The long term plan is now starting to fall in to place even though there is hardly any free time on this years year planner at the moment. I have now finished my Wex Photographic 2018 commitment and at last I am free to start planning 2019. I will still take on the odd days from some of the big companies like Wex and some of the other great shops like Wilkinsons, just not as many days as before.
It was mentioned a few times on Social media this week that I had moved over to work with Canon now I had left Fujifilm. I will put the record straight right here and now, I am not with Canon. This October I plan to be semi-retired so I will not be signing any contracts with anyone. I am still involved with Gnarbox as the only UK member of the Gnarbox Pro Team but my commitment to the team is minimal and also fits in very nicely with my future travel plans so will not hold me back from my work life balance goals.
If you read my blog you will know that I bought the Canon G7x because my Fujifilm Cameras got locked in the Wex Glasgow store by accident a few weeks back and I needed to get a camera from Argos early on a Sunday morning so it was an impulse purchase but has turned out to be one of the best little pocket cameras I have ever owned. The sensor is only one inch so its not as good as my Fujifilm X Series cameras but with its 24-100mm Equivalent fast Zoom its so much better than my iphone as an every day pocket camera.
I work most weeks teaching with the Fujifilm X100F and the X70 and these are just the best tools for me teaching Street Photography. When I go off on Landscape Trips or teach Landscape I take the GFX System as that is the right tool for me for Landscapes and I also have the XPro2 for Street and Landscape with a selection of lenses.
I do have a few Canon Cameras and these are all for Shooting Video and they are the C100mk2 the 200D and the 5DMK4 and and a selection of lenses. I have some future Film plans and needed a camera system that was tried and tested.
The beauty of not having a contract with any brand is that I don’t have to stick to one set of tools and can use the best tools for the job ! Fujifilm make the cameras I need for all my Stills work and Canon for my Video the little G7x is just an exception to the rule, its great for video but also just so much fun to take stills with.
This weekend I got a very rare chance to get away in my Camper with Jane for a couple of days and decided not to take any camera gear. I did however take the G7x with me as a back up to my iphone ! Its light, fits in my pocket and the battery lasts all day and even if I do need to charge it I can just plug it in my powerbank !
This weekend was a time to reflect and its great to find a campsite that has no phone reception to get away from it all for a couple of days. We love Cae Du Campsite its just one of the most quiet and peaceful sites in Wales and perfect to get away from it all. I have a long term and short term plan and at times in this job you just cant see the wood for the trees. I have now had time to reflect and put the next four years in to some order.
My new workshops are online here and I will be putting a few more online over the next few months, these will be workshops I have designed to help people who already know how to use a camera, to discover more about the art of taking pictures.
I also have a new business plan that will come in to action next March at my end of year, so all going well I should have lots more time to do what I want to do and that is travel and explore with Jane. This will at last redress my work life balance ! I hope.
I will leave you with a few images taken over the weekend with the little Canon G7X in and around Beddgellert.