The eye of the beholder.

1990 (Olympus OM1, 50mm, Ilford HP5 film)

1990 (Olympus OM1, 50mm, Ilford HP5 film)

I took the photograph above in 1990, in southwest France. I was about 20 years old and not particularly financially well-off, but that never seemed to matter, I made this on a beat-up Olympus OM1 and 50mm lens. I was rationing myself to 1 roll of film every 3 days, as it’s all I could afford, but again, that was never really a problem. When I got home I had the films developed, this one was one of my favourites. I was working as a printers artist at the time and one of the men I worked with, Ian, had been a freelance photographer in the past, so I couldn’t wait to show him. Photographically, I believed and trusted everything Ian told me. Ian didn’t like the shot, he said it was a bit boring and that I hadn’t followed the ‘rule of thirds’. Ian then gave me all sorts of ‘sound advice’ on how I could improve the photograph… I was extremely disappointed and didn’t show anyone else the photo.
For nearly 10 years the photo went unseen, but I kept looking at it, every few months, and thinking “but I like it, I think it’s good”. So I took a chance and included it in my portfolio. The Times Newspaper loved the image and gave me some freelance work documenting the chaos at Heathrow Airport in the days after 9/11.
I took the shot below, 20 years later, to illustrate a story about Morecambe. I don’t think Ian would approve…

2011 (Mamiya 7II, Kodak Portra 400 film)

2011 (Mamiya 7II, Kodak Portra 400 film)

1991 (Pentax 67, Agfa APX 25 film)

1991 (Pentax 67, Agfa APX 25 film)

2011 (Hasselblad 503, Fuji Neopan 400 film)

2011 (Hasselblad 503, Fuji Neopan 400 film)

9 comments

  1. I always look at your posts but rarely comment. But today, I just found these pictures so moving. I particularly love the picture of the lady in the field. This is beautiful work, thanks for sharing it with us. Ian might not approve but there are many who will appreciate it.

    Like

  2. Bah, that guy didn’t know what he was talking about. 🙂

    Anyway, if we’re talking Photography 101, I’m not sure you did ignore the rule of thirds, and besides there’s certainly a “golden triangle” in the composition. Whatever. The Times liked it, so there ya go.

    Like

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