A few weeks ago I was invited to take part in the Black and White Photography challenge by Martin Bailey. I have to admit that initially I wasn't planning on taking part, mostly as I would not be able to keep up with the requirements of posting a photo a day for 5 consecutive days.
After a few days of contemplation (i.e. looking back through my archives) I decided that the process would serve as a good excuse to look back through my older photos and see if I could come up with 5 shots that I would still be happy to publish. This in itself has proved to be a very good learning exercise for a few main reasons.
- Firstly, while I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be on my photographic journey, I've come a heck of a long way. Some of those early shots (aka the baby years) are cringeworthy. Not necessarily in their own right (although some are), but how, when I think back I believed they were really something special.
- Secondly, I've not taken nearly enough photos over the years that I would have liked and this does not sit well with me. I call myself a photographer and yet looking back though my archives there are plenty of gaps where I simply wasn't getting out with the camera. Going forward, this really needs to change.
- Thirdly, I really like black and white photography, but can clearly see in my archives when I've simply converted a colour shot to black and white vs. going for a shot which I knew would work in that medium. It's very important that when looking to create a strong black and white photo you need to remember what works best for that medium (i.e. strong contrast, light etc) while shooting, rather than simply converting a colour shot back at the computer.
- Lastly, and this one I didn't expect, is the fact that one of my photos (the man walking with the briefcase) has been used without permission on a Cambridge businesses website. I've already contacted them and asked them to remove the photo (which they have said they will). Raises the topic of water marking and posting images in full resolution yet again.
To date I've posted 3, with the remaining two due in before Christmas. In the process I've also invited two other photographers to have a go, Marcus Beard and Peter Moorey. Have you taken part? Would love to see your own 5 photos. Need some inspiration?