Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Instagram ban is lifted!

Last week I posted about banning myself from Instagram. Well my week of not allowing myself to use my iphone to post pictures to instagram has come to a close. I let myself use my DSLR instead, and interestingly I took fewer pictures this week than before.

I don't know whether the rainy weather this week influenced my lack of picture taking, but thinking about it I came to the conclusion that it really is so easy to point and shoot with the iphone camera and banning myself really did actually cause me to stop taking pictures because it wasn't so convenient with my DSLR.

However, on Saturday I was walking round London with my DSLR and revelled in taking lots of photos with it, and I definitely get more enjoyment and a better sense of achievement from taking photos with it rather than my iphone camera.

I felt the whole process was more fluid and my photo storytelling was there again, which I was losing a teeny bit with just using the phone to take pictures.

The picture above is before editing, I never tend to edit much, and always aim to keep a picture true to what it the conditions of the day were, unless I am purposely going for a different look. I actually feel there is a better connection and appreciation of my photography this way too, rather than taking photos with the phone and sending them to instagram which I think has throw away connotations to it - once a photo disappears from the feed, in an essence it is lost. Taking photos with my DSLR photos are not forgotten and I appreciate them more.

I'm glad I did this weeks ban, and although there is a place for both types of photography, I have become increasingly wary of the popularity contest side to instagram, and I would prefer to take photos that I love with my DSLR :)


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Art is my friend, demon, and obsession!

A friend of mine had this status update this week: "Art is what drives my day- I see pictures everywhere. Art is the friend, the demon, the obsession, that lives in my head."

Deb proceeded to talk about how if you are not a visual person you may not understand how a visual person works. I know for myself it is easy to explain but I doubt someone could feel the same feelings of intensity I might feel and the massive pull to go and create something when it appears.

These pulls can be anywhere at any time, and today I just walking out the door of Fortnum and Mason's in London today I looked up and saw the torch you see to the left and had to capture it!

Very often my major inspiration comes from music videos, I could sit for hours and watch well put together music videos which have had fantastic stylists work on the singers, or talented designers and writers create cracking sets and storylines. Watching Lana Del Rey's videos is like heaven to me!

I watched picking up the pieces by Paloma Faith today, and the way my mind works is that with certain shots my mind freezes the video and I see the image I want to replicate and adapt. I get the massive urge to go and create it. Unfortunately life gets in the way a lot of the time, if you are at work for example, I can't just set up my easel over my computer haha.

To combat some of the lost creativity I take a lot of photography and like my Opa (German grandfather) I carry a camera everywhere with me. My eyes are constantly searching for the next photo composition. I have to go take photos, even today in work I took a photo of the skylight above me, I love seeing the changing colours and the water droplets on it when it rains. Who would take a photo of a skylight you say, well me! I see something I want to capture, and so I do.

Art is my dynamo, it drives me, but it also consumes me and I battle against it as well. I have urges to create, but getting the desired outcome can be frustrating if it doesn't work out how I imagine, or in some cases there just isn't the time, or I don't make the time because I am tired. I have noticed I become frustrated and I would almost say unhappy when I do not create, it is as if something inside me has to be let out.

Then there is the decision of; "oh my lord there is sooo much I want to create, what do I do first?"

I have taken a break from drawing while I settled into my internship and found somewhere to live, but now I am raring to get back into it. Excitttting, I feel a slight change in direction, I have bought new paper, and also some mounting board for a bigger project. I think it's time to grow my style in original works as well as my adaptations of celebrity pictures.

See you soon guys :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Banning myself from Instagram!

So, unless you've been living under The Shard, or a massive rock this past week you will probably have heard that instagram moved into the realms of android, and then there was the colossal 1 billion dollars that was paid by Facebook for the app this week.

I saw plenty of tweets flying around and they were definitely food for thought as the news of the purchase spread across social media; Tweets about topics such as we are living in an era where Kodak filed for bankruptcy a few months ago and won't be manufacturing cameras any more, (the original item that made it a success), while an app has taken the mobile photo world by storm and just been paid a massive fortune for, sure made me stop and think.

This all got me thinking more about my photo taking habits and how they have changed since i got instagram. Recently i have become rather confused as to what I want to use for my photography. In the past few weeks I have actually been out on occasions with my Nikon D60, small Canon video camera and my iphone with instagram on it all at once.

First and foremost I am an artist and photographer and have an eye for a photo or a scene. My Nikon D60 is my trusty old friend that lets me take spectacular pictures with long shutter speeds and so forth but it is bulky compared to my small Canon which I use predominantly for my YouTube videos to film with, but even that small camera is a total Tardis in the photo department! It can do tilt shift and all sorts of magic, you name it, it's got it!

Then comes the iphone and instagram, I can sneakily take a pic here and there without people visibly thinking i am taking photos as i don't have my massive paparazzi lens pointing their way. My phone is always with me as well making it handy and it's easy to use. I also love the fact that my photos can get shared with people instantly, that is what I consider to be one of the greatest points of being an artist in this digital age, I can share my work and people will see it all around the world.

However, every time I take a photo with my phone for instagram I feel a guilt trip for my Nikon D60. It should be the one taking those photos, and certainly I can upload Nikon photos onto my iphone and publish them on instagram but I don't feel that is how I use instagram, I use it more as a story telling platform and as an in the moment diary.

I also am dubious about the quality of the pics on instagram i produce, they are not always technically what I want, but people seem to love the ones I think are ok, and don't show much interest in the ones I think are great haha.... People commented a lot on the mood of the one with the taxis and rain....

Another concern is that we will have all these photos locked away on instagram and for record purposes in the future will the quality be up to scratch, and what will happen if instagram disappears to a future rival? Will people have saved those pics, or is instagram simimlar to the platform it was based upon, a Polaroid snap that people may throw away with time? - A snippet of life, not always intended for longevity.

I feel like I want to ban myself from instagram for a week! Ban the use of my iphone camera, and go back to my Nikon D60. There is something about the digital SLR, I don't feel a cheat as a photographer, maybe I am looking at in the wrong way, there is undoubtedly a place for the digital SLR and an iphone camera hooked up to instagram, it doesn't have to be one or the other, but I know one will prevail and become the preferred method of mine for taking pics on the go. I won't be so simple to get my Nikon out on the bus without some stares to take a picture out of the back window like the one of the taxis.

So starting next Monday I am going to give this a go and go back in time so to speak, and I will be taking my Nikon everywhere and not taking pics on my phone. It will be interesting to see how my photo taking alters! I'll let you know!