Why I Photograph

Taking photographs is fun.   I don’t have to take photographs as a job or because I’m part of an organisation; I take them because I like to.

The camera lens chops out a bit of the reality in front of me.   It might be a street scene, a sky or a coastline, a bit of countryside or a building.   It might be a person or people or a flower, puddle, insect or plate of food.   And when I take the photograph I have a general idea of what is within the perimeter of the lens.   The decisions I make are when to click the shutter, what direction the camera is pointing and some slightly technical decisions about length of focus, shutter speed and so on.

I then load the photographs into the computer and, usually, look at them and discard a very few that are obviously no good – grossly over or under exposed or out of focus.   I keep most, even those that don’t look much on first glance.


Atlas Gallery ( http://www.atlasgallery.com ) is showing a selection of surreal photographs under the title : The Psychic Lens. The exhibits from the 1920s through the 1960s include both standard photographs and experimental techniques including solarisation, montage, collage and others. The work of Man Ray is well represented along with a number of others who I have never heard of. The exhibition is a nice complement to Tate Modern’s The Radical Eye.

My visit to the gallery was preceded by a quick look around the newly opened Design Museum in Kensington ( designmuseum.org/ ). Fascinating building, beautifully finished and promising a range of exhibitions and events that will make return visits well worth while.