Photographers… yes, you fellow amateur, enjoy it for the sake of it, straight horizoned, two hours wait for the golden hour of light, mega megapixeled, razor sharp lens equipped strugglers after perfection. You Photoshop cloning-out experts (I didn’t notice that red litter bin at the time either, or the Page boy doing the rabbit ears thing behind the brides head), cleaning lenses and camera sensors obsessively … yes, you. You are doing it all wrong. Tripod? Throw it away. Measure exposure? Don’t bother. Careful to observe your scene and compose it to bring out its maximum beauty potential, leading lines, rule of thirds? Nope.
Start again. What you need is a pair of eyes inspired by a pair of glass bedknobs (yes, really, bear with me), a film camera loaded with at least a thirty year old out-of-date film – that you might have used before, who knows? – and the sheer nerve to exhibit the resulting overlapping framed, colourless, fuzzy mess as ‘the woodland as a magical and unexplored place, almost in an Arthurian sense’. Like this.
Yes. The sort of thing I might have stuck an Advisory Sticker on in my dim and distant Photographic shop past, informing you that you do not have a clue how to use your camera properly and offer some friendly advice on how to improve matters.
This however is the work of an artist, Jon Pountney, as now available to see in an exhibition at Castle Coch, Cardiff.
Yes, an exhibition. If you like this sort of thing, there is an article on the BBC website here. The artist lets on that he was inspired by the glass bedknobs in a bedroom refracting the light around it. So, take the knobs in the room, add an artist, voila.
I will have to stop worrying about the quality of the pictures I choose to put up here for sharing with you in future. If you think it’s badly composed, too light, too dark, not any bloody good at all, I shall just say that is down to your faulty expectations of the norms that society has encumbered you with and is actually a visual exploration of the possibilities offered to expand your perception and sorry about the smell of bullshit.
Meanwhile, as we have more than a passing ‘Arthurian sense’ here in North Cornwall, and many ways to try to make some money out of it, I have chosen one of the pictures I took here – and previously rejected – and will now attempt a Jon Pountney inspired version. Hang on…
Just hum to yourself for a couple of minutes….
Apparently Jon took three months to do his. This took about two minutes. Take a focused picture, blur it, apply a graduated filter to over expose the top of the frame, fade the exposure a bit, change the colour temperature. Done. Don’t know what took him so long really. Maybe justifying the commissioning fee. Actually, looking at it here, I don’t think I’ve made it bad enough yet.
You can have this one for free though, it is ‘symbolising the tussles of escaping social entanglements and boundaries in the context of legend but with familiarity of experience. In a wood.’
What’s that smell?