Working in a voluntary Photography Group is a new experience. Classes at TAFE in Visual Arts and in the short-course Photography course were guided by teachers with something of a curriculum to follow (though not always rigorously). Because I had been an old-school photographer for many years – long before digital days – I already knew about many technical elements such as f-stops and lighting and of course the way film-speed worked: such a strange concept today. A lot of my early work was “in the field” – in Aboriginal communities in Australia, in many parts of South East Asia – and because I liked it anyway, I developed the ability to work really quickly in composing and taking “scenes” with the least possible expenditure of materials. I was using “snapshot” approaches before there were snapshots and long before fully automatic shooting. I didn’t use tripods, filters, artificial lighting, or any of the traditional tools of trade of the formal photographic approaches of old. I used a variety of cameras from the brilliant little half-frame PEN (black and white film only) and the heavy old Pentax which was carted around like a piece of luggage. You had to be careful with every image, every expenditure, because film and processing was so demanding and you couldn’t make too many mistakes – especially because these were moments and events which would never recur
Today of course you can use any number of small light cameras and take literally hundreds of versions of the same image, then pick out the one or two which seem to work best from your point of view. Somehow that seems typically over-indulgent to me. Whether with the I-Phone or SLR, most of my images have continued to be immediate, spontaneous, rapid: a bee approaching an apple blossom, a daughter caught in reflected light for a moment, even views which could be theoretically set up for hours I prefer taking almost instantly with the least gap between concept and pressing the button.
In the photography group, however, we are experimenting with doing things I would never in a million years have thought of doing. The first thing we were asked to do was to look at intentional blur. I had no idea there was a whole practice in photography making deliberate blurring but because of my long-standing art interest in Gerhard Richter it was a natural for me to try out. I have put up some of the “blur” images on my page here, and more on my Flickr site, a new experiment for me. More on Flickr later.
The next project was to photograph ordinary everyday items and present them with a new vision, seeing them afresh. I liked this idea a lot. I had a couple of excellent photos from the old miner’s cottage we stayed at in Broken Hill but they were just an accidental part of the Broken Hill suite of work and I didn’t have access to old wheelbarrows anywhere else. I will put them up on another page.
So for the “everyday” project I started photographing things in the kitchen of my house at Katoomba, and almost without trying the images, which I subsequently modified using a couple of simple Preview tools in I-Photo, began forming not merely as visuals, but also as a narrative.
Maybe because I’d been watching MAFS at the time it became a love story. I put it together as a Powerpoint presentation so I could show it to the group easily. I thought I would put it up here as well but then I found out you can’t embed a Powerpoint in a WordPress site unless you pay top dollar. Because this is “only” a premium site I can’t load the Powerpoint plug-in. What a stupid decision. People use Powerpoint for lots of non-commercial purposes and since I run several paid WordPress sites I can’t afford that amount for all of them since none have a commercial function.
So I am going to load all the slides one by one here. I am losing the quality of the photographs themselves, since Powerpoint is a crude tool for art photo reproduction, but it is fine for the moment.
Images and Text © Annette Hamilton: Created March 2019.