A New Start

Life has changed recently. I have retired. At least partially so. This gives me time so I have decided to use it in a productive manner by learning a new skill set (to use a buzz phrase from my previous life).

Studying an arts subject is a very different experience from my previous learning which is all science based, other than one OCA course which I struggled to completely in a timely manner due to significant illness. I have had a long stranding interest in the practical aspects of photography, and also in looking at photographic exhibitions, however have never had any formal learning in how to analyse any arts subject.
I was brought up being very aware of photography on a daily basis as my step-father was a professional photographer, concentrating on landscapes and architecture. He used medium format cameras and was meticulous about recording all the details, well before the days of digital photography and exif data. We would spend hours waiting for the perfect light, a glimpse of sun, and, most importantly, no intrusive people unless they gave a needed scale.
The move from film to digital was an interesting change, with the possibility of instant reviews, histograms and altering exposure post facto – but I have found that it makes me lazy, as other than the in review time, there is no cost to taking vast numbers of similar, often practically identical, shots. A much more considered approach is required, more thinking and less pressing of the button.
Recent partial retirement should give me more time, however I remain concerned about my ability to be analytical about the photography of both myself and others. I am very much at the stage of ‘I know what I like – but don’t know why’, and certainly not at the stage of understanding what might appeal to others in anything other than a short term fashion. I hope that reading , looking and thinking will, over time, address this.

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