We all have our particular favoured fields of photography. Some prefer landscapes, some nature, others urban views, still others go for macro or astronomical images. It’s all according to taste. My own work tends toward either documenting projects I’ve done or things I’ve seen or else I delve into the artistic realm, sometimes to the extreme. And although I have been known to stray from these norms occasionally, there are certain kinds of pictures I really can’t be said to indulge in.
Although I have been known to take the occasional self-portrait (definitely not ‘selfies’), I just don’t take pictures of people. Not friends or family or strangers. I can’t explain it other than to say they’re just not my sort of subject matter. As it is the self-portraits are more a form of artistic exercise than anything else. There are of course the legal ramifications of taking pictures of people; generally you can’t use the images to your benefit without a model release (the requirements vary from place to place), and that adds an extra measure of complication. I don’t like complication.
I’ve never liked cities much, no matter what size. I grew up in a small village that got bigger as I got older. I’ve always preferred rural, remote, natural settings. Probably why I have a cabin in the woods miles from anywhere – and just across the creek from the neighbours. The nearest ‘city’ to me now is not very interesting to look at anyway; it’s a ‘rapid-build’ settlement made largely of concrete block one-story industrial-look structures put up quickly for practical use rather than with any eye to architectural aesthetics. In other words it’s ugly. Even the residences are mostly brought-in-on-a-truck design. Not much ‘real’ architecture anywhere. A sop has been made to beautification with flowers and murals like the one sampled above (unfortunately I don’t know who painted it) which are everywhere yet do little to improve the view anywhere. The one nice effort along these lines is the seasonal store window paintings, all done by the same artist which gives a certain homogeneous look to local retail. But frankly photographing this civic art or the ‘canvas’ it is on is not for me.
If you put those two categories together you have Street Photography, which I also don’t indulge in. It just isn’t my thing.
Oddly enough, the new Lumix camera is capable of doing 4K video. Evidently that’s supposed to be something desirable. All the other digital cameras I have do video in some form or another, but I’ve never done more than try out the function to see if it works. I have one nice video of hummingbirds swarming the feeder (see the still image above), but since none of my work is worth spending money on to present I don’t have a premium account here that allows me to post the actual video. In my youth I shot some 8mm and Super8 film, and even had quite a few movie cameras. Once I even made an entire stop-motion animated movie (it wasn’t very good). But despite these dalliances with video I never had any serious interest in making them, and still don’t. This is particularly peculiar considering I’m rather fond of classic movies and have quite a few on DVD. Sometimes enjoying something is best done from the sidelines, not from within the ‘game’.
So I will stick to documenting those things I feel I need to make a record of, and indulging my artistic desires with the kind of images I’m familiar with making. Not because old dogs can’t learn new tricks, but because sometimes old dogs are happier with the familiar antics they already know how to perform.