Welcome to iSighting (or Eye Sighting), my second Blog.
I started my first Blog – LensScaper – in Sept 2011. Maybe you’ve found your way here via a link from that Blog. Or maybe you are new to my work. Starting a Blog proved to be one of the smartest things I’ve done photographically. As a result, I’ve met and engaged with a knowledgeable and friendly community of creative photographers. And on a daily basis I’ve enjoyed the privilege of viewing a new gallery of images from the Blogs I follow. It continues to be an inspirational experience.
The process of posting images and writing about them has also fulfilled a long-held wish to do something creative with my photographic output. I feel I contribute a column to a world-wide magazine, in which I’m the one who decides what to write and what image(s) to display. There’s no Editor at my back dictating what I write.
I now want to give something more concrete back to Photography, a passion that over many years has given me so much. If you haven’t read my first post ‘A Statement of Intent’, then please do read that on the ‘Home’ page because it will explain in a little more detail what I hope to achieve with this Blog.
A brief Bio
It’s well over 45 years since I first became interested in Photography. In those very early years, working with a simple point and shoot compact, Photography documented what I did and where I’d been – walking and climbing in the Alps for example, and a few years later, in 1969 (with my first SLR), trekking into the Everest region of the Himalayas. It’s a record that lives on into today. And it was all on Kodachrome.
Much has happened since then. The Photograph as a ‘visual document’ evolved rapidly into a love of landscape photography, fuelled by those early experiences in wild, high places.
Around the same time I learnt the rudiments of black and white film processing and print making at University. Joining a Camera Club opened my eyes to printing on a larger scale and my skills rapidly expanded, thanks to the support and mentoring of older and more skilled photographers.
The period from the early seventies to the mid eighties was a golden period for me. I obtained my ARPS (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society) with a panel of black and white Pictorial prints, and a few years later (1983), I was successful, much to my surprise, to be awarded a Fellowship of the RPS for a panel of documentary B&W prints. I worked as a judge and lecturer on the Midlands circuit for a number of years and was successful as an Exhibitor. Darkrooms at home started as a plank over a bath in a blacked-out bathroom, then a series of shelves in a blacked-out shower room and finally a DIY kitted out darkroom in a large under-stairs storeroom in the house we still live in to this day. Sadly it’s probably 20years since I last produced an exhibition-sized print.
The darkroom was dismantled some years ago because Photography became the casualty of a demanding job working as a Family Doctor (General Practitioner for those from the UK). And as my seniority grew, so did the list of add-ons that came with experience – committee work, medical politics, and managerial roles. Photography was confined to holidays and my output suffered because my creative skills withered away.
It’s a story that I am sure will be familiar to quite a few of you reading this. Pressure of work and infrequent use of a camera suffocate creativity.
Everything changed when I retired in 2008. Suddenly I had time – that most precious of all commodities. And my love of Photography has flooded back: richer, broader and more creative than it ever was.
I’m now relaxed about my Photography. I no longer feel the need to produce images that will be successful in exhibitions, or please judges, or are ‘in vogue’. I shoot entirely for my own pleasure and if someone likes what I produce then that is a bonus.
Starting this Blog is the next chapter in my visual journey. I’m nervous about what I’m attempting, because I’m putting my opinions, thoughts and ideas out into the public domain to be dissected and discussed. But I’m also excited at the opportunities it provides.
You will find links to my other internet presences including my other blog in the sidebar.
If you are resident in the UK, you might like to know that I now have two presentations on offer to UK Camera Clubs:
- High ‘n Wild with a camera, and
- Observations on a Visual Journey
To contact me, use the form on the ‘Contact Me’ page and I will get back in touch with you.
I hope you enjoy what you see on this Blog as it develops – do make a comment and join the discussion. Or sign up to subscribe – you will find the options for that also in the sidebar.
And finally – thanks for visiting
Andy Hooker (LensScaper)