After being incredibly jealous of the likes of Joe Wright, Valda Bailey, Tim Parkin and others who have all previously been on the John Blakemore book making and image sequencing workshop, I made sure I was eventually in line not to miss out on this wonderful opportunity to spend time with one of Britain’s artistic treasures. I genuinely didn’t know what to assume but I was told to “expect to examine your photography in terms you have never considered before”. They weren’t wrong.
Those of you who follow this blog and my various social media posts will know that I declared 2015 to be my year of print. I was very serious about this objective – I’ve already completed a significant slip-cased A3 sized general portfolio of work with a fabulous high-end product from Hartnack & Co (see the mini-series which STARTS HERE) and I always had in mind to produce something a little more intimate to contain a project series like Backwater.
In Part 1 of this series I set out the arguments to printing more of my work and although it’s arguably taken far too long to get to this point, it’s still felt like a natural journey. When I first started out in photography, I actually printed more than I do now. I think there was definitely a naivety on my part back then, I perhaps didn’t care what others thought about my photography, I blindly and plainly didn’t see what I regard today as obvious flaws in my earlier work but I certainly didn’t have the attention to detail or the benchmark I set for myself now.
I’ve read a few articles recently which talked about the risks to a digital legacy. The crux and central theme of these views are that if we create a purely digital portfolio as photographers then eventually this is at real risk of being lost, more so, it’s pretty much guaranteed. All the backups in the world won’t protect your photography if no one else knows how to easily view or access it after you’re gone – our paranoia with web security and using cheap cloud based services utilising some faceless corporate servers somewhere are adding to these issues too. I’ve certainly sat up and paid attention to this sentiment – it all seems so utterly pointless if all we do as photographers is create JPEGs that even our own family take little more than a passing or casual interest in. Once you’re gone, that vital link to your work is also gone – and will anyone really care? Even if they do all will inevitably be easily lost on some hard drive which gets dropped in a landfill soon enough. Personally I’m now compelled to create more than fresh air for my efforts…