Sunday, 24 April 2016

Photographic motivation

Back to St German's to celebrate the Sunday Mass yesterday morning, then home for a solitary lunch, finishing off the other half of what I prepared for last night's supper, with some pasta. Clare arrived home at tea-time from her visit to Auntie Daphne in Exeter, and we had supper together, something different. No matter how restrained I am in preparing and cooking ingredients for a sauce or ratatouille for a meal, I find it impossible to cook enough for one, apart from omelettes or stuff on toast. Maybe I have less of an appetite than I used to, but basic food cooked seems always to stretch to two portions, or enough for two meals when I'm on my own. Funnily enough, I'm happy to eat the same meal twice in a row, fine when I'm on my own. Clare doesn't enjoy the same meal twice in a row, so any excess prepared has to be potted up and retained in fridge or freezer. All part of life's rich pattern, I guess.

After lunch and a siesta, I spent an hour or so editing and uploading photos from our stay in Sta Pola, three batches in all, one exclusively from my visits to the salinas, one from the Tabarca visit and one from the town and port itself. 

Birdie photos from the Sta Pola salinas are here

The next big photo adventure will be our Danube cruise, starting and ending in Budapest, travelling to Bratislava, Durnstein, Salzberg and Vienna - an orgy of historic townscapes and countryside viewed from the river, with all its commercial traffic, and shoreline interest. I won't know which way to point my camera. Which camera to take for the best results is now lurking in my mind.

Truth to tell I am getting fussier and fussier, thinking about picture quality and detail. I take many photos at mid to maximum telephoto range, and despite having a steady hand, getting satisfactory shots is a bit hit or miss, so the question of how to get the best quality is now bugging me. I wish I could borrow a selection of cameras to try out, and see what best suits me. After all, given the fidelity and accuracy of modern digital cameras, also the level of photographic discipline and skill, the character and quality of pictures taken relates to the person taking them, and the observation and insight they want to convey. 

I want something of everything when I take photos, to convey the context, whether aesthetically or socially or historically, sometimes to notice the detail in a scene and what that has to tell. I admit that photographing people is something I'm nervous about. It's not that I don't enjoy the results when I get a good shot, but I fear invading people's privacy, distorting their livers with my camera. I'm not into the social contract dimension which portrait photography involves, and if I ever get a good portrait it's more by luck than anything else. What drives me to take pictures is the sheer beauty of the world we live in, whether natural or built environment. It's capturing a little suggestion of the work of art which is creation itself that gives me joy.


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