A collection of images are kept just next door covering an extended period of stop-start attempts at getting better at photography, motivation falling off a cliff around 2020. Perhaps it will be back?
These are hosted on a bespoke, static gallery site rendered with my own generation tool, Vanity
. This was a continuing attempt to free myself from feedback dopamine chasing on
500px. I post them there largely for myself as part of the practice of “finishing & publishing” (and as a curated memory bank of holidays past)
Whilst most of this gallery is likely only interesting to me, one trip may be of broader interest - visiting Ukraine mid-winter, 2018 . This includes the Orthodox Epiphany celebrations in Kiev details on pravmir (archived), the sprawling Mezhyhirya Residence the controversially lavish estate previously owned by Viktor Yanukovych, explored via private tour; wikipedia and several days inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone, including a freezing trek along the Golden Corridor to the reactor floor of Unit 2. This was the most extraordinary and stressful week of my recent life and I’m grateful to have the photos to remind me it happened.
There’s also a set of vintage scans from the early-to-mid 90s when - thanks to my father’s photographic interests - I had access to an underwater camera (something of a novelty at the time) and some beautiful Scuba diving locations. Perhaps you’re reading this in a future where all the coral is bleached and/or long dead - you can come see some slightly soft pictures of coral! And the occasional shot of a large Grouper getting petted.
In December 2010, in preparation for some extended travel abroad, I dumped the heavy shoulder bag full of expensive Canon kit I’d accumulated over the previous decade and bought a comparatively microscopic DMC-GF1 with the stock 20mm F1.7 pancake lens. My entire camera setup suddenly weighed and cost less than a single one of my previous lenses.
This remains the best photographic decision I’ve ever made major credit to my father for taking a these same steps with his own Canon stash first and (repeatedly) extolling the results., moving from a cumbersome and conspicuous SLR to a device I could ‘palm’ on the street and carry all day without neck and shoulder strain. On reflection, this was akin to suddenly having a decent-enough smartphone camera 5-10 years early. I could (and did) take the GF1 everywhere.
With a smaller sensor and generally cheaper glass, I had hard limits applied to final image quality compared to my previous kit. This, too, was an unexpected positive. Freed from the self-applied pressure of fretting over every last pixel , the hobby - up till then slowly sinking into fetishisation over sharpness and lens glass perfection - suddenly became fun and uncomplicated again.
Constraints, effort, experimentation, reward.
There has been some evolution of the equipment since but I’ve tried to restrain myself and remember those lessons in minimalism. Everything still fits in a Crumpler Base Layer M bag, capacity of about 2.5 tins of soup.