I do things very slowly. It took me a full two years after graduation to reason that working on a pie line in Ginsters possibly wasn’t the best use of a law degree. I think this laid back approach reflects in my pictures to an extent, as they’re often slightly out of focus and very still. You won’t find many people and often no recognisable London landmarks, but the pictures represent my own places of interest – Kilburn Park, Cafe Kick – which are totally personal to my three years spent living here. To be completely honest, I take pictures for myself more than anyone else. It’s therapeutic and helps blank out the spreadsheets that monopolise my eyes during the working day.
I’ve found Flickr to be a really useful learning tool, if you can look beyond the perma-white backgrounds and shameless popularity contests… he says, not at all jealous of those with streams counting views in their millions and enjoying constant worldwide praise… If you’re interested in a new camera, new processing technique or a variety of film you’ll probably find a group for it full of enthusiasts keen to share their knowledge. So kids, you can tell your folks that it’s the informative and therefore more acceptable form of social networking which definitely justifies the six hours a day you spend on it, clogging up the broadband.
I find real enjoyment in using film cameras, with my favourite being a Minolta x300 which personified Dad’s brief flirtation with taking photos circa 1980 and is (just) older than I am. My first self-bought camera was actually a pretty high-spec Canon Ixus compact but the ease of use and instant results actually put me off taking pictures. I think if something’s worth doing it should be hard to do, so in contrast to a lot of my friends and family buying ever-more expensive external hard drives with posh lenses I dusted off the Minolta in the loft and ran a roll of film through it. I was totally amazed that pictures even came out at all. And in colour too. This spurred me on to try different types of film and camera to get different results, and I now have three or four vying for attention on my shelf that will hopefully spark the interest of any future offspring. By that time though I’ll have regressed even further against the digital camera-buying public, and I’ll probably be drawing pictures on black slate with chalk.