Submission

Once again it has come time to submit photographs to a Photofusion members’ exhibition that is due for display in June of this year. As usual the process conjurs up confusion. Why am I doing this? Should I be doing this? Why are all my photos so crap? What exactly am I trying to achieve?

The title of the exhibition, Made In Brixton is somewhat open ended. Although it is flatly stated that the submission should contain no more than 10 – 20 images and that they must have a connect, ie. they must work together in some way. Also they must amass themselves under the title of the exhibition and make some kind of sense in this way.

Since I have been photographing the estate I have lived on in Brixton of late I thought that this would provide a good opportunity to show. The truth is I have been taking pictures of the damn place for eons but never seem to come up with anything that interesting. One of the reasons is that the estate is so damn bleak. Who wants to look at images with no joy? Well some people. I don’t mind them for instance. Here’s one.

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When I first bought my Leica D lux I worked in 4:3 a lot coming up with images such as this.

And this. Not 4:3 I notice. Too many switches, options.

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Regardless of the camera, of the pictures even, there is the difficulty in presenting the project as a coherent set of images that pertain to a concept or actually manage to tell some kind of story. Articles I have read on such heavyweights as Alec Soth etc suggest that these people spend a long time researching their projects before they go anywhere near the shutter. Food for thought.

With regards to submission I deliberately tried to stay away from architectural images but eventually found it impossible to not be drawn back to the technical which in many ways is the essence of this estate, my block being built in the 1950’s a triumph of neo Georgiansim apparently. Who’d have thought. Well the dimensions are somewhat low and wide.

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But again, coherence. That is the flaw in my plan. I want to see people, we all want to see people so we can draw empathy so we can understand a situation. Simply to stare blankly at a load of bricks and mortar is insufficient unless you’re a cat or something.

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Of course there were not enough good photos of the estate. There are never enough good photos so I had to draw on my arsenal of slightly dull architectural shots that I have amassed over the years despite, in my statement, saying that I would not do this. Idiot! The people at Photofusion are looking for the big guns. They will toss my photos aside! They have bigger fish to fry. Secretly I hope they will like some shots and ask for more. That’s what you do right? Like being on the reserve list. Sometimes that is the start of something big.

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The problem as always is, too many images have been made. This confuses me because for the most part I am a less is more person. So what so many images? Well one reason is time. I’ve been here for quite a while. A straightforward solution to much of this is to photograph on one system and only publish collections from that system or camera but straight away the same problem arises. Not enough good photos. So less cameras? Should I sell all my cameras but one or two? It has crossed my mind. I do have lots of cameras and they all seem to be good in their own way? Go back to film? Wannabe hipster!

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I am drawing the gate closed. I must now sit and wait for what ultimately will be defeat. But I shall continue to photograph this ridiculous place if only for my own sanity. Besides who wants to take photos of landscapes in Kent? It might be relaxing but is it fulfilling? Maybe.

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