Early this summer, I discovered Instagram.
I love it. I can make pictures now that look how I want them to look. Moody and intense. Landscapes and architecture, life’s little details and self portraits. I’m an addict.
I get my interest in photography from my father, who was a passionate photographer. In the fifties, he developed his own pictures in the bathroom of the flat he shared with my mother near Trent Bridge in Nottingham. His little snaps of my siblings as babies, taken in black and white, developed into a fascination with seacapes that filled the weekends later in his life, when I tramped along the beach with him and his camera, looking for shots.
When I began my Art ‘A’ level after his death, my mother bought me a basic 35mm SLR camera, and I took lots of shots with black and white film, learning to develop them in the college dark room. That was how I grew to share my father’s addiction for monochrome images.
He would have loved Instagram!
Looking back through the shots I have taken this summer, I’ve noticed a pattern developing: a penchant for skies.
I love clouds. The pictures I have been taking have brought this habit of staring at the sky to my own concrete notice. I’m amazed to discover just how often I do it!
Sometimes, you have to look back at the backlog of work you have created in order to see the things you are interested in, the subjects that keep popping up in your work.
To a certain extent, lots of pictures of clouds are not really a surprise. I live in Norfolk, known in the UK for it’s ‘Big Skies’. The landscape here is fairly flat (although not as flat as Noel Coward would have had us believe), so there are plenty of chances to witness panoramic cloudscapes. Living out in the countryside helps too.
Instagram has proved a great tool for me, not least because it has helped me see this interest in clouds as a new creative avenue. I want to be taking lots more interesting skies in the future, and I’m saving up for a new camera, something a little more sophisticated than my trusty Samsung camera phone (love it though I do).
This week, why not take time to look back over your recent creative endeavours, and see if you can pick out any patterns or themes in your work. Are you writing songs in a particular key? Are you finding yourself drawn to crochet in fluffy alpaca wool instead of ordinary DK? Are your paintings going through a ‘Blue’ period, like Picasso’s did?
And if you can pick out some new themes, how can you pursue and expand them?
(Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more of my photographic adventures!)