I realise as I read photography books, see images freshly posted online and review my own catalogue that there is very, very little that is truly different. Probably subconsciously I absorb many of the ideas exhausted by others. I was fascinated recently by a series of photos in which the photographer had done an assignment based purely around a park bench. How many ways can you interpret a bench. Well the answer was quite surprising. Compositions varied enormously but so did light. It seems obvious but we are perhaps conditioned to wait for the best of the light. We either wait for it or chase it. Occasionally we come across it fortuitously. That was why I thought about photographing boats. I live no more than a 20 minute walk from the sea front. I can see the boats from where I write this blog. They are, so to speak, on my doorstep. No excuses. So how would I see boats? What light could I use? Wide or detail shots? I have no special interest in boats. I do not sail. A rare trip out on a junk is as far as it goes. Perhaps the short hop to Yim Tin Tsai. A good test of my ability to look at boats from all angles at all times of day.

I am still thinking through what I can do that is different. The knots were my first attempt. Currently I am treading water without inspiration. It is a theme at which I shall have to work for some time. Here are 2 more images from my last walk along the sea wall, starting with that sinking feeling. Was it Oxford or Cambridge this time?





Do these float your boat?

15 thoughts on “Boats

  1. Now hear this: I like the boat idea very much. And I also like the photo of the aluminum cans that were saved for recycling. It might not be pretty for some folks but by George it is very realistic and I LIKE REALISM! The photo is at least showing that the boat person is frugal and conscious of the environment as well. That is a very good thing. 🙂

  2. I understand your dilemma because I run into it as well. Like you, I like reading and viewing others photos for inspiration but in reality at times it limits what I would do. Once you read what should and not should be done you’ve unknowingly pigeonholed your creativeness into very restricted lines. If I went out to shoot each day like I had no knowledge of light, composition, etc then I would probably come back with a lot of bad photos but I would also return with some that were outside the box of proper photography. We just have to keep pushing outside our comfort zones and I think we’ll always be surprised with the results. Keep up the great work.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful response. Breaking out of the comfort zone ought to be easier than it is and I think that is where projects come in. They force you to do so. We’ll see where it takes me.

  3. Sometimes these things take a few endeavors to settle in, Andrew. I’ve been wanting to take my work in another direction too, but have yet to hit on that right something. Time will tell if boats is right for you, but I think having to photograph something in which your are not particularly interested will teach you a lot…either about boats or just about your vision. And it just may lead you to another subject that you do enjoy.

    • It is a good point that it would be better perhaps to choose something that interests me but the only person I recall being interested in park benches was Aqualung. So there is hope yet!

      • And I haven’t been able to build my new site yet, because I’m waiting for WP to transfer a couple of bought items I must have. It’s been several hours: I think they’ve all gone to bed. 😦

  4. Interesting challenge Andrew. I do like number two. Maybe a caption – Don’t drink and drive – might be in order. It could also be a different understanding of junk.

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