Centuries of Technique
If you live in London, then so far your year has been filled with unpredictable weather — with days where the temperatures struggle to past 0C — and much to the dismay of commuters, multiple transport strikes. I spent the first week battling my cold with the constant drinking of various concoctions whilst shuffling around my house. By the time the second week rolled around I wasn’t ill enough to stay at home but I was still pretty knackered.
In fact every week so far has left me exhausted and in desperate need of the weekend. There have been long periods of sitting in various types of transportation and the accumulation of a very large workload. I prefer to spend my working week out photographing rather than sitting at a desk pixel-staring. But with the turn of the weather I am definitely preferring sitting in front of a computer screen instead of going out on site visits in the van.
With January being bitingly cold, leaving the warmth of my home or workplace is difficult. The first cultural visit of the year was to the Tate Modern, a lovely building that has many rooms of inspiration and hours of technique. I think people tend to forget this gallery because it’s not surrounded by other tourists spots, but instead by pretty residential buildings.
I always look like an excessive tourist with 2 cameras and several lenses. I just can’t go back to the days of photographing rooms or building exteriors without a wide angle and sometimes all I want is detail. With so many rooms filled with inspiration and centuries of technique it was hard for me to appreciate all of the art in one go. I guess another visit will be scheduled for later in the year.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this gallery was the amazing architecture. The big arches and the spiral staircases that lead to many floors but also to a much quieter members area. You could see even more beauty from high up; I wish I had a fish-eye lens just to get the whole image from the ceiling down to ground level in one shot.
Near the end of my wanderings I came across a viewing platform. It was nice to be able to break away from the rest of the visitors all of a sudden. Well, it was almost closing time and those who had made it that far were few in numbers. Looking back I realise that I quite like images that have no people in them; I find the lack of people gives way to a feeling of quiet and a reflective nature. But there, from the viewing platform, it was nice to see others interacting with the space and the hours of technique that had made it onto the walls.
Normally when I edit images I know which will make it into a blog post, but this time I struggled. It wasn’t that the selection of images was too limited or that I didn’t have enough to pick from. Trust me, a day out could leave me with hundreds of images and not one repeat! It was what I came back with that surprised me. From all of those times that I pushed down that shutter button more images have come back highlighting different things that I want to show off. More than a few images that I look back on from that outing have made me fall a little bit more in love with the medium of photography. Have I got to the point where I think wow for every image that I take? No, not by a long way. I am far from it, but I’ve not experienced this difficulty before, and this difficulty somehow feels like a forward step for me.