This led me to think more about my photographic journey and how some of my life choices and interests might influence my work.
My first degree was in history and I found David Campany’s Safety in Numbness: Some Remarks on Problems with ‘Late Photography’” very interesting in terms of the role that still photography might be viewed today as making a more effective record of a particular event or moment in time. Joel Meyerowitz’s work at Ground Zero after 9/11 was commissioned by the Museum of the City of New York to take the “official images” of the aftermath of the attack on Lower Manhattan. The implication at the time was that it was the still image somehow was more able to provide an official history of the tragic events. My interest in David Campany’s work and Meyerowitz’s work was that I do see my images in part as recording wildlife events and behaviours and scenes in the landscape. I would hesitate to say they are record shots as I hope there is narrative and impact in them too but it gives me an insight into perhaps a “thread” of my photography.
I spent a short time as a police photographer and the need for speed, accuracy, technical expertise, effective composition and meeting deadlines in a film environment is I believe another “thread” to my work. I like to record details, I constantly scan the scene I am looking at to ensure I have the important elements in the shot and ensure I don’t have any spurious information. I am confident in my technical ability to invariably get the shot.
Thirdly, I have spent over thirty years working in universities managing large administrative departments in which there is a need for accuracy, clarity, analysis of the facts and a clear understanding of the workings of the institution. Clear reports, analysis of data and comprehensive reviews of structure, processes and procedures have been required. A thorough consideration of the facts in casework has also been important. An eye for detail, conscientious planning and preparation has been required. This is my third “thread” in what might be influencing my photographic approach.
And finally this week, I referred in the Webinar to a “tourist scrum”. My colleagues were intrigued by the term I had used to describe the background events to an image I had taken of a cheetah kill. The image below captured just such a scrum at a river crossing in Kenya.
Campany, D (2003), Safety in Numbness: Some Remarks on Problems of ‘Late Photography’” http://davidcampany.com/safety-in-numbness/