No, it’s not what you think. There are not “30 Of The Most Powerful Images Ever Taken” nor will you find “Some Of The Most Powerful And Heartbreaking Photos Ever…” here. These are just two post titles that popped up on my Facebook wall today.
As a photographer myself I do tend to click on some of these links, rarely expecting to find what such sensationalist titles promise. Rather, as with these you get a pretty poor selection by people who clearly know little about the medium of photography or its place in art and cultural history. Two different titles, mostly the same images these are on the type of sites that care nothing about quality or credibility – and there are hundreds of them – who link-bait for hits with such dramatic titles. All too often, as in this case they’re mostly reposting each others ‘top ten’ (did I ever mention I hate list posts), ‘best of’, biggest ever’, ‘weirdest’, ‘oldest’, longest’, ‘most fcuked up’, and every other word designed to pique your curiosity and draw you into visiting their low-quality content. Content which is all too often stolen and misrepresented – yes, I said stolen – from creative people who’ve made it or writers who’ve written it. Continue reading
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – I used to be a photographer.
I was not, am not, and have no aspirations to be a commercial photographer. I studied what was essentially a ‘fine art’ (I’m not a lover of the phrase so won’t bore you with any post-modernist critique) photography degree. It was the best on offer in the country at the time (and probably still is), and I continued to do it for a few years afterwards. However, when your passion is something that’s very difficult to turn into cold hard cash (I didn’t fancy teaching at the time which is what most of my peers gravitated towards) – it doesn’t take long before work, your social life, and sooner, or later kids come along.
I never left it completely, I just never did it (by my own definition) ‘seriously’ since just after my mid 20`s. I’ve always loved the medium, I always look at the photography I see with a critical eye, and I’ve kept my hand in, and periodically re-kindled my interest, through some occasional teaching (until I left the UK). I’ve just not DONE it. Continue reading
One thing not that few people in my current circles know about me was that I originally did a degree in photography – but never chose to follow it as a career. I’ve taken on the occasional project over the years (usually under duress), and have taught the subject (far more appealing to me than the pressures of professional photography) in higher education both in the UK and US… I still keep my hand in for my own pleasure and amusement and sell the occasional image through photo libraries.
I recently wrote about Geoff Holt’s bid to become the first quadriplegic sailor to cross the Atlantic having met him a few short weeks ago. Over dinner one evening this came up in conversation – a couple of days later Geoff and his PR company asked me to take the official departure pictures of the crew and the boat to be distributed that day to the press. Continue reading