For today’s post, I was feeling a little nostalgic. Yesterday I spoke to a group of first year high school pupils about careers, and a lot of my chat with them was about how I started out and my attitudes towards my own career when I was younger. This got me thinking a lot about when and why I decided photography was what I wanted to do with my life.
A major turning point for me in terms of turning photography into a career rather than a hobby was a trip to Torridon in Scotland with photographer Bruce Percy in 2010. It was part of a small landscape group where we learned about composition, camera techniques and equipment (such as gradient filters). I think this was probably the first time where a camera’s flexibility became really apparent to me. Despite the early morning starts (6am to catch that morning sunrise), I enjoyed the slow pace of finding a spot and adjusting my settings to get the shot I wanted. It was probably the first time that taking a photograph truly felt as though it was an art form.
Looking back on these photos, they’re definitely not the best I’ve ever taken, but to me they represent not just a learning curve, but a complete attitude change. It wasn’t long after this that I decided that it was the career that I wanted to pursue, and I applied to college the following year where I worked hard, quit my job and took a plunge into a world where doing what you love can be a massive challenge.
When I was re-editing these images, I decided to go with black and white to give them a sense of belonging to a series of landscapes. As they were shot over two days at two different locations, the colours in them gave them individuality (which isn’t a bad thing, but as part of a set sometimes removing this individualism can work in an images favour).