At the end of 2018, I switched from approaching landscapes and portraiture with the sense to idealise both and instead decided to develop my own way of seeing, focusing foremost on subjects closest to home, thereby allowing me to establish a relationship with an intimate place and to create more meaning in the images.  As I write I’m reminded of Robert Bresson’s ‘Notes on the cinematographer’

Light is everything, but matching light to subject is more important.

Reduce your colour palette. Colour intensity is fine but too many colours can diminish the impact of an image.

Make a project locally and concentrate on one geographical area.

Choose something that is non iconic and perhaps from the outset not easy to photograph.

Think with intent about what the right approach is for it. That may be specific and unique to each project.

Avoid the obvious image. Find your own subject or a way of showing the unfamiliar angle.

Straight photography is not representational photography. Creative photography is not found by ignoring what’s in front of you.

Have more than one project on the go. The dips and slack in one will be offset by the other(s).

Seek visual consistency throughout a project.

Enjoy the work of others but follow your own path.

Form is paramount when human interest in the image is slight.

Think about your frame. Be wary of close-ups and abstraction as much as wide and non-specific. Both can diminish the understanding of a place.

Employ one aspect ratio at a time. Attune your mind to seeing with this rectangle. Embrace the limitation. 

Image editing often referred to post-processing but it should also be about the sequence. In the early days of a new project, learn to study your images and see if a pattern emerges that prompts a project to deviate into something more interesting.

Drape your ideas loosely with ideological wrapping but let the project organically emerge, visually. Don’t straight jacket with a fixed intellectual concept.

Enjoy looking at your own images. Develop a narrative. Make a book. Reflect on its ‘story’.

The following two tabs change content below.
I'm a photographer running photography holidays and tours.

Latest posts by Darren Lewey (see all)