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100 Photographs

I’ve been looking through files of pictures – the analogue world of negatives and contact sheets – to find candidates for inclusion in my 100 photographs project.  Having got to the end of 1996 I began to feel that it was time to stop – ten more years of film will have to wait to be mined for something else.  J said it is about time; and I should be concentrating on new ‘creative’ work.

That’s bit unfair, or rather has missed the point.  I’ve been looking back at past work with fresh eyes, more critical eyes that try to pick out something I missed the first time round.  At one level this has been relatively easy: all the documentary work I did for local and regional magazines can be skipped, as can the family snaps and professional planning material.  But the ease of that brings the risk of passing over the one telling image that might fit into the project and the few frames at the end of a reel shot on the off chance that they might one day be of interest.  I think looking and seeing is always creative.

But I take J’s point; and am resisting any temptation to carry on looking to the past.  Instead, in the spirit of closing an analogue circle, I’m going to put one last roil of film in a camera and take new pictures with the intention of getting perhaps three that will make it into the 100.  Not that I need more – my 100 has 132 candidates already.  Serious – creative – editing will be needed.

The three pictures here are the last ones chosen from my back files.

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Shingle Street 19

Roy Hammans reminded me this week that Shingle Street ‘is a place that lends itself to solitary contemplation, especially when you get there in darkness and there’s no one else around’ (he was there to see the sunrise).  He’s right: crowds, happy holidaymakers, don’t gather on the stony shore, it’s a place for lone figures and couples, perhaps with a dog for company – the wind off the German Ocean prizes even the smallest groups apart.  It’s a landscape with an austere, muted palette that shuns intimacy.

Thanks also to Roy for telling me that the tidal lagoon is ‘apparently properly called a percolation lagoon’.  That’s for the process, not the coffee coloured mud at the bottom.

Photo: Shingle Street, 9th August 2019

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