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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
Daily Archives: November 12, 2011
November 12, 2011Posted by on
I am thinking about going away at Christmas, in terms of business it will make no difference, as the UK closes down for 2 weeks commerce grinds to a halt unless you are a retailer. I haven’t been away since visiting Syria in 2009 and I think a trip is overdue. My current intent is Laos, it sounds perfect for me at a time of year when the weather back home is cold and grey and if like last year snow covered. A good time to escape. Maybe I will book today.
My inbox pinged and there was another sage missive from the excellent Tom Dining. He is a photographer from the Northern Territory in Australia, Darwin. For me he would not need to travel, all he needs to photograph is around him, but then again for him it is home. So this post from Tom hit at the heart of my current ponderings. Here is what he says
“In the process of learning to see, ordinary days and ordinary events can often take on a significance that is, to say the least, surprising, if not profound, but certainly extraordinary in their connection. Today is such an ordinary day.
The first event was a simple question posted on a blog.
” Where is your next big travel trip?”
Simple enough inquiry, but the implications in the particular context was that one needs to travel to photograph; to find new destinations, grandeous scenery, interesting people, places of beauty, the obligatory sunset or sunrise on a new and more exciting horizon, captivating architecture or the progression of interesting and dramatic lives and events other than those that fill our own seemingly mundane existence. We need the imagery of the imaginary, the visual spectacle of the spectacular; we need to see and record what we don’t have or pay homage to the representation of what we do have: the landscape.
The travelling photographer is armed with a vision we envy. He brings us a world out of reach to many. Like The Grand Tour we plan our lives, in part, to fulfil the dream and return with the booty of other places, neatly parcelled in a digital slide show which will be presented to friends and family on our return.
“See where I have been,” and we will sit in amazement at the splendor and beauty of it all.”
So Tom is challenging us to find images worth recording at home?…Is he getting to the root of why I want to go to Laos or in fact anywhere, am I missing the point?.
“While standing in the middle of the road framing one of many shots I took that morning, drifting blissfully through my own world, a gentleman approached from the curb.
“What are you photographing?’ he asked sincerely.
” The truth” I responded, only after the shutter hand been pressed and I was happy I had captured it as I saw it.
“I used to photograph rock art” he added, with some trepidation, moving back to the curb and seeking safety from the traffic and me.
Everyone has a vision of the truth. We can all find it and photograph it as we see it. When that is done, the beauty will be revealed. Finding your truth may be closer than you think.”
Read more of Tom’s wise words on his blog here
Here are some images from my last trip, if you would like to see more go here