‘Thinking With’ – My Photography – Progress Report 1

Six weeks since my conversation with Clive; about five since my early reflections on ‘Genres’ & ‘Thinking With’ rather than ‘About’; some posts about research on Genres (Thinking About!); Christmas has intervened; but no photographs!  What’s been going on?  Actually, I’ve had those words in my mind, a mantra to which I’ve kept returning; and I have been taking photographs/making images, some of which I’ve shared with fellow students on Flickr. Mostly, from mid-December, I’ve tried to free up my mind & take photographs, just to see whether themes/ideas/concepts/purposes/meanings emerged.  In the last 24 hours, I’ve poured out a stream on consciousness into my notebook, exploring what might be going on.  I’m not going to repeat all thoughts in this blog, but communicating my thinking is going to take three or four posts, of which this is the first.

To start with a photograph – I took this one about a month ago …

About Why 01 - Out of Nowhere “Out of Nowhere”

Out for a walk on my own; had picked up the camera, hoping to do some ‘thinking with’ … letting my mind relax; opening my eyes to see what I see; just photograph what I want … regardless.  I called it “Out of Nowhere” (later, when reflecting) – the wish to photograph it came out of nowhere; the tree is growing out of nowhere; and out of nowhere I was away, taking some pictures.  Why photograph it?  It made me think of an explosion, actually, but I needed to be careful not to start thinking ‘about’.  THINK WITH … take photographs & think afterwards!

About Why 02 - Its complicated “It’s complicated”

It isn’t easy!  Six years of studying and learning to think ‘about’ gets in the way; it almost gets easier to think and not photograph.  What made me take photographs when it didn’t matter?  Seeing abstract shapes, forms colours, patterns, textures in the landscape …  Not being a painter or drawer. photography gave me the means to record and communicate these things.

Sometimes, the strangest connections just happen …

About Why 06 - Why not

Plastic on Wire

There is no connection at all, of course, other than a sort of accidental, formal one, in my own mind; a convenient one that I choose to make.  Like …

Homage to Usain “Homage to Usain”

It’s more than three years now since I completed the OCA Landscape module. My last assignment involved many visits to a particular site, where I had found resonance with Joel Meyerowitz’s photos of the 9/11 site.  It hasn’t changed much in three and a half years …

Revisiting Lanscape II

I took a version of this next image on a Level One module – Introduction to Digital Photography.  It was a more colourful, blue sky and autumnal version, but I think I prefer this one … still surreal, though, in a quite weird way.

Real Surreal

John Stezaker began his collages and film stills series (which I wrote about here) when he had a print of a film still upside down for years.  It had a reflection of a woman’s face in the shiny top of a grand piano.  I wonder what would happen if I turned this one upside down?


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