Eklingi 2: plus a great deal of rambling!

Eklingi 2


I feel as though I’m losing my way a bit with my photography and perhaps it’s time for some changes, before I lose my enthusiasm altogether?

Recently I put some images into a photobook and perhaps that’s the way forward, after all there are thousands of snaps floating towards oblivion on my hard drive that will never see the light of day otherwise.

Then again I have booked exhibition space at the end of August and haven’t a clue what I’m going to present in that show because there’s not much interest in photos of India here in rural Scotland.

Also I look at the work that’s winning top places in national club photography and wonder why I bother. Amazing wildlife, magical cultural locations and stunning landscapes, plus some highly imaginative montage creations. Okay, so I find endless photos of red squirrels, boxing hares and red kites exceptionally boring, and have no interest in asking friends to dress in clown costumes so that I can montage them into a smoking battle scene, but I do like photographing people in their own environment.

I need a new focus though.

Why do we take pictures?

As aids to memory? To capture unique congruences of time and space? To satisfy some aesthetic need to organise chaos into order within a rectangular frame….to make sense of it? To reflect on the human condition?

Then I look at the photos that galleries are exhibiting.

Social history I can understand. Photos taken 60 years ago in the back streets of Glasgow are fascinating and a few even have some kind of aesthetic quality, but so much of what gets wall space has no regard for photography as an art. They do often follow interesting conceptual ideas but the concept is often so very thin and the images are mundane at the very least.

I could list the photographers that I admire and though that would be a bit like name dropping  I am still strongly influenced by many of them, but it’s vital that I also begin to be aware of my own urges……I was going to say ‘style’ here but that smacks of superficiality.

What gives work coherence?

Subject matter? Mood? Technique? Presentation? Intention?

Okay, okay……enough rambling.

The photebook was a collection of images of people hanging around on street corners, at bus stops and similar locations and was entitled “Waiting”. I think that it has coherence mainly because of the subject matter, the intention and to some extent, the mood. Where it perhaps falls down is in the presentation. There are monochromes and desaturated images as well as a few strongly coloured ones, and the formats vary wildly. Perhaps if I could be more disciplined in the way that I prepare my image making, then those issues might just get sorted.

But I have a problem.

Each picture places upon me it’s own constraints and needs. Some sing out COLOUR, some demand MONOCHROME and most insistently, some require individual compositional structures. Do I want to force the issue with this?

There’s only one way to find out………




11 thoughts on “Eklingi 2: plus a great deal of rambling!

  1. Hmmm…..perhaps I’m missing India?
    Perhaps I’m getting jaded or lazy?
    Maybe ……….I need a good kicking

    At least I’d feel something then.

    Perhaps I should start taking my tablets again…..

  2. I’ve seen some amazing compositions just since I’ve been following, enough to publish (book and/or online) the images from your travels. I feel we should seek to publish the work we like, even though there is not a perceived market. Most of us are also looking for the best opportunities to connect with others who will appreciate our work.

    • Thanks. Your support and encouragement are both appreciated. Making the selection for a book or exhibition is always going to be a painful one. A kindred spirit is always good company, thanks again.

  3. John, I keep coming back to your blog each week because 1) no other blogger that I know shows me India, 2) your are very good at this craft, and 3) I enjoy your commentary, and all that I learn.
    Best to you as you work through and toward the exhibition

    • You give most welcome encouragement Laurie at a time when I really need it. I have just been trying to sort out images for my printed journal of this visit. It’s difficult to make a selection. Exhibition selection also very undecided as yet.

  4. Ha! I know that feeling with me all the time. As you know I have thousands of Indian images that are very worthy IMHO but the only way anyone is going to see them me thinks is books. I really would love to know how I could hold an expo on all my India work. I am having an expo myself in 6 weeks time and I am frustrated that it is pointless showing any work regarding travel documentary because no one will buy it! The only answer John, is that we will have to arrange a joint expo in Mumbai before we lose the plot! Dont worry be happy and keep clicking – its therapy for me for sure 🙂

    • Your thoughts are in synergy….!
      Yup, losing the plot…..I need therapy!

      Just trying to prepare my 2015 India Journal for print on 30cm square format, but 100 pages not quite enough. Mocking it up using Pages but chaos ensues. Can’t quite get a grip today….

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