The wooden/metal textures of a boat's hull undergoing renovation - Morston Quay, Norfolk, UK
And so we come to the end of another year. How the time has flown. This year has been an unusual one in many ways. Creatively it has been a year of 'treading water', neither a good year or a bad year. I will admit that it has been a frustrating one at times. Sadly i came across my first non paying client this year. It was bound to happen eventually, especially in the current economic climate, but for eight years i'd managed to avoid it. What's even sadder is it's not a small firm but a large one that is holding out on payment. No reply to e-mails or letters and no mention of any problems with the work - quite the opposite. The business of photography is certainly not made an easy one. Am i mad to continue? Most probably. :o)
At the start of the year, i posted a blog entry called 'shooting for 2009?'. In it, i mentioned how i'd like my photography to develop over the coming year and i included more creative studio work. Yet again i haven't started any personal studio projects. I have no good excuses. I will really will have to get on top of this and sort it out. I did try a few new things this year, one of which included the Solo Photo Book Month. The online project involved shooting, editing and creating a photobook in around a month. It was a challenge to say the least, especially designing and outputting the PDF electronic book. The resulting book was well worth it and i learned a LOT about the book making process. I will take part again in mid 2010, this time shooting the project on film. The timing will have to be spot on for this film based 2010 SoFoBoMo project. I also want to create another photobook in late March containing a selection of images from my Winter Landscape project. New ways of displaying photographic projects is a small research job for me in the New Year.
2009 will go down as the year that the camera phone started to yield good results. Up until this year, i'd regarded the cameras on mobile phones as just gimmicks - great to photograph friends on a night out but not up to making quality images. That's all changed, and with websites like Twitter, i can update the websites on a regular basis from wherever i am. I intend to carry on with this process in 2010, continuing to intergrate elements into the blog and website like Twitter and Audioboo. I've also tested out a great new video upload site called TweetReel which enables users to upload video footage shot on their iPhone. I'll use that more in 2010 too, along with Twitter and AudioBoo. Finally i couldn't finish this section without mentioning the 'second blog' Darker Skies which went live online in August. Like this blog, the more unorthodox Darker Skies will be improved over the coming year with more images and ideas implimented. The internet has played a massive role in finding new ways of distributing work and finding new photographers/photography. It is the future and a tool that will radically alter the nature of media in the coming years. 2009 saw the start of the shift from paper to screen with multimedia being one of the more creative ways of photographers showing their work. I'm going to try creating my own multimedia presentaion in the coming months incorporating video, photography and audio.
So it's finally come to choosing six images that represent my favourite/best photographs taken in 2009. It's an odd mix with two photographs taken using my phone. The quality was that good that i even made my first official calendar out of camera phone images. For street photography i've found it invaluble. The camera is small, light and provides good image quality. In Norfolk i used it a lot, mostly as an experiment, but also as a smaller photo project using twitter as a display area. I like the immediacy of shooting and uploading to the web, and the feedback from fellow twitterers was super. The best phone photographs were of the sea fog on Cromer pier and the still-life of a boat undergoing renovation. Both images show the range and diversity of how you can use a modern phone camera.
Using more conventional cameras, two photographs are memorable; both due to their location and the enjoyment had taking the photographs. The first is an image of a Barley Field in Norfolk. To me it represents summer in Great Britain, the golden summers of the past. I was waiting for a Tiger Moth biplane to return but it never appeared. The barley photograph was the consolation photo. I love it regardless. The second photograph was taken in Whitby as a publicity still for a film due to start production in the town in 2010. Not only was it a great photography session, it was GREAT fun, challenging with it's night light and a new area of photography for me - vampire photography :o) I'll be working on the film (director of photography) in the new year so expect to see some more photography from the set. I'm looking forward to doing some more character study portrait work with the cast including the lovely Heather featured in the above photograph.Wow...It's an all digital selection this year, hopefully a few images shot on film will get into the end of review next year.
All that is left for me to say is thank you for following the blog. The numbers of readers has grown nicely over the year which makes me very happy. Thanks to those people who have e-mailed me or commented on the work, including a number of photographers whose work i respect immensely. I really enjoy working on the blog and hope you enjoy viewing my little snapshot on the world of photography. As always there are some upcoming items for the blog in 2010. The start of the New Year will see the start of the photographer profile series again, but if you'd like to see some great photography now then my vote for this year would go to the Noir series mentioned back in November. Brittany and Mitch will be shooting some more Noir images in 2010, so keep a lookout for that. Until next time my friends, i'll just say, Have a very Happy and prosperous New Year. ;o) Rich..