Carpe Diem – in a photographic sense

It’s been a beautiful last couple of autumn days here, which has made my attempts this week to “carpe diem”, in a photographic sense, all the more relevant (if not always successful).

I’ve had a slight change of mental approach to the 365 project, in that I’ve attempted to make the images reflect the day, rather than be just an image that I could have attempted to capture on any of the 365 days available. The challenge here, for me at least, is that the day may not reveal what most represents it until relatively late, and I prefer to have a clearer vision in mind what I’ll photograph. However, there can be advantages, as days with events already penciled in can be relied upon to provide some inspiration, such as our visit to a RPS distinction advisory day on Sunday. Other events, such as me breaking off the key in our combi boiler, have provided unexpected inspiration:

Melt (023 / 365)

Our visit to the Advisory Day on Sunday is simply out of interest and as spectators, rather than a more active involvement. I’m sure that it will be a source of long term inspiration though, and interesting to see the standards by which two of the RPS’ distinction levels (LRPS and ARPS) are measured.

Further inspiration, from a technique rather than subject perspective, has been provided by Syl Arena’s book “Lighting for Digital Photography”: this had long been on my Amazon wishlist, until I noticed that a marketplace seller had an “good condition” copy for under £5. That seemed too good to miss, and having sat on my office windowsill in a pile of photography books for a couple of weeks, it’s now come out for me to dip in to. Impressed with the first couple of chapters, the first on describing light being more relevant and interesting than the second on equivalent exposures. A little more reading over the next few days and it might be time to try balancing some flash with natural light, or perhaps persuading Mrs G to model?

This weekend will be busy, work tomorrow and the RPS event on Sunday, but I’m hoping for a wander around Pontefract town center on Saturday morning. Before starting the 365 project, I enjoyed wandering around the town with my M6, appreciating the lack of weight, the beautiful handling, and the unobtrusive appearance. The 365 project has made me concentrate more on shooting digitally, and whilst the 5d is a fantastic camera it doesn’t have the strengths of the M6. It’s a quandary that can be balanced at a weekend by shooting, developing and scanning on the same day, or by using Mrs G’s Fuji X20. Sadly this lacks both the emotional pull and the fines of the M6, and the technical excellence of the Canon along with its selection lenses. Perhaps the M6 should be used for a series of images documenting Pontefract market and the surrounding town center activity, the digital cameras routinely used for 365 images, and the two cross over when it’s convenient to go from shooting to scanning on the same day. What is certain is that the Leica has spent too much time sitting on my desk and not enough time with its strap around my neck.

Happy photographing!

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