Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday 30 May

Blog Every Day in May - Who inspires you?

Another blog post started on the day and not finished. I had a day off yesterday but with 14yo off to see a friend for most of the day, 11yo has a bit more trouble keeping himself amused and likes a little bit of input from me. So we got started on this 

1000 pieces, we'd only just laid them all out in this photo, by the end of the day we'd got about 40 pieces done. Wish us luck...! Anyway, in between entertaining him, getting some sewing and crochet done, cooking, a walk with parttime dog and watching SpringWatch I just didn't get round to finishing this post on time.

Who inspires you? At first I thought this was quite difficult. I don't aspire to be anyone else and I don't think I aspire to have someone else's life. Of course there is always something that you'd like to change about your own life - I wish I had a bit more money so I could do some maintenance to the house, I wish I had more time with the children, that sort of thing. But on the whole I'm pretty happy with who I am and what I've got.

I talked to the children about it and then 14yo said 'how about a photographer', and that got me thinking. I have enjoyed photography as a hobby ever since B. bought me my DSLR a couple of years ago. I am not technical or patient enough to ever take a prize-winning photograph, but I can see my photos have improved over the last few years and I do enjoy getting to grips with all the different camera functions, let alone learning more about composition. I have done a few classes and regularly read photography books. About a month ago I borrowed a book from the library called England observed by John Gay. I had never heard of John Gay before but a first glance inside the book made me want to find out more. Originally German, John Gay came to Britain with his unofficial foster family in the thirties of the last century. After the war he became a British citizen and a successful freelance photographer. He mostly shot in black and white, as he felt that the chemical colours of photographs didn't resemble real-life colours closely enough but oddly enough you don't think about the colours or 'lack of' at all. His photographs seem, at first glance, to be very ordinary, often they are very ordinary subjects, but they tell a story and that is where his talent lies. Very few photos seem posed, his strength was in taking a photo which was an observed scene, almost like he was just passing by and happened upon a scene which he then photographed. Apparently though he would often return to a location time and time again until he got the shot exactly as he wanted it. What is so clever is that these photos seem so easy to take, yet I know how difficult it can be to get it just right. I would love to be able to take photos like that - I've definitely found someone here to aspire to.

Child and Dog, picture at English Heritage