Once upon a time, I fancied myself as a grand photographer. I’d gaze at the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Mario Testino with a real appreciation of the art of capturing the moment in black and white.
Armed with my film SLR, I’d wander the streets of London and try to recreate the essence of place the old masters’ images exude. For years, I’d doggedly deny the galloping of time into a new digital age. The art of photography is lost when you no longer need to think to set up a shot, I thought. I developed my films in a darkroom in Uni from time-to-time, and get lost in the quiet, organized routine of developing.
There was real satisfaction seeing your images come alive before your eyes.
Slowly and surely, I succumbed.
My first digital camera was a tiny little black box measuring 7cm x 5cm and 1 cm deep, and held 2MB of photos. Yep, it was teeny, tiny, and a bit temperamental, but after a few trips I could see the use of being able to delete bad images. And, like everyone else, before too long I made the giant leap from film SLR to digital SLR.
My poor little, faithful film camera sat gathering dust, until eventually it was put into storage and forgotten about.
I never became the next Annie Leibovitz, er, obviously. That would have required too much dedication. But I did grow to love digital, and although I’m not professional standard by any means, I have managed to capture some pretty nifty shots over the years – many of which have never been featured on Eco Traveller.
This is the year they will have their 15 minutes of fame.
I’ve been following The 52 Project over at Practising Simplicity – a blog I have a lot of time for, and I simply love Jodi’s photos. For the past few years, she has taken a portrait a week of her small children, and the results are just beautiful.
I had contemplated joining in, capturing my two girls as they grow, but I don’t think Eco Traveller is the space for this, even though it will become more family orientated over time. However, I do love the idea of committing to a photography project over a year with a view to improving your ability as a photographer – something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
I also just got a brand spanking new lens, so want to have some fun with it and learn how to use it effectively.
Introducing The 52 Weeks Series
The 52 Weeks Series will feature a photo a week, every week in 2015. The images will reflect the ethos of the blog, be accompanied by a short description and hopefully provide a little travel inspiration. At the end of the year, I’ll have 52 photos ready to be published in book form, free from the hard drive forever more.
The name I’ve chosen for the project is a variation of Jodi’s and another photography project – 52 Weeks – A Photography Project, which also deserves recognition for influencing the photographer within.
1/52 :: One Planet
While walking through Great Otway National Park, near Kennett River, I came across this lovingly-altered sign.
It’s easy to see how the graffiti artist was influenced by their surroundings, releasing their inner activist.
It’s a serene place, with nothing but the call of the kookaburras and koalas rustling in the trees to break the silence. The narrow road runs through dense eucalyptus forest, where ancient gums reach high into the sky. A river runs through it, and few cars frequent the one road that wends its way out towards the ocean.
It’s a great place to get lost in a moment.