I specialise in mountain pictures but have a good general background which includes a Master’s degree in photography. I’ve studied the subject extensively. How photography is used, misused, exploited, and achieved. I photograph mountains but have wider interests.
World media made a huge fuss for example with the refugee boy drowned on the beach. You can analyse how photography is used. The Guardian, predictably, promoted the image on their front page to support their so called politics. They did not run the picture of the girl murdered in Nice, covered in a sheet, her toy doll beside her. You have to wonder about their bias and ethics which currently extrapolate into the Labour party meltdown. The last I read eighty four were killed by the religious psychopath, fifty children in hospital, and we’ve seen more religious atrocities since. There’s a grey area where the Left half supports it. In the other half you find ideas which get them investigated and expelled. It’s about positioning and alliances: not ethics or rationality but group think affiliation.
With portraits the current photographic trend is a style devoid of emotion. Like a Victorian pose you ask your subject not to smile, and the light will be flat. It’s a curious psychological effect. Like an Edward Hopper painting you feel emptiness, indifference, alienation. It’s a contemporary feeling and there’s some trace of it in commercial outdoor photography. The message is: this place is empty, which is the paradoxical meaning.
I worked this shot in Photoshop to see if I could enliven the colours and contrast. I never do this beyond the aesthetic limits of film and what you might achieve with filters, paper, and darkroom process. It’s a myth that Photoshop editing, as such, is a deviation from authenticity and tradition. How you implement that idea is a personal choice and a matter of degree. In that respect, film and darkroom experience is valuable.
I edited this picture quite extensively and didn’t like it. I looked at it again some weeks later and decided the flat, quiet, empty feeling is the reason I took the shot. I like it. There’s no drama or message and that is the point of it. You fill it with psychological meaning as the viewer. I’ve gazed here many times, from the Rhinogs, and plan to walk and camp in the Arenigs. I’ve not yet done it.
Friday September 23, 2016