Friday, March 29, 2013

Peter 100 - Peter

At last, through sheer determination I have come to the end!

I can't say that I've enjoyed this project, in truth I haven't at all.   It's not me.  

I am just not comfortable with the "cold call" nature of the project, although  I am very happy to simply bowl up to a stranger and engage them in conversation, the need to photograph them takes very much secondary importance. 

Several of the people photographed in this series I count as very good friends now, but photographically I "cheated", I befriended them first and took photos later.

Others were candid shots which I took first then asked permission later.

Except for the first few dozen or so, few confirm to the strict rules of "introduce, ask permission and shoot" never to meet again.

BUT, I did learn a good deal.  

I learned to adapt my shooting style so that I can now without angst, compose almost any photograph in landscape format, so much so that now I rarely shoot portrait.  Previously that was almost a crutch that I used to get me out of tough compositional situations.

I understand the use of light so much better, but again in the strict terms of this project, I was never (almost never - see "Bill" or perhaps "Liz") able to contrive a situation with the natural light which would  enhance what I was attempting to do.

Mostly though, setting the camera became automatic - I don't panic any longer, and rarely make terrible mistakes.  I am so confident in that regard that I often take only single shots these days.

And the self portrait?  Well it's me alright, doing what I like to do best: travelling, while attempting to blend into the crowd  even though I sometimes rather stick out above it.   The photo is taken on the summit of the Stockhorn in Switzerland, camera characteristically at chest height (I rarely take photographs from a position above waist height, often much closer to the ground), trying to be anonymous.

It is one of the wonders of the modern world that we go to such great lengths to protect our anonymity, or "privacy", then post our photographs on the world wide web for universal scrutiny!

Thanks Ann, Julie and Cara for all the support you have given on the way through.  This is me sighing a great sigh of relief and shouting…



Pierre BOYER said...

Great !


cara said...

Wow. Well done, Peter. I wish I could be mentally jogging around in circles at the top of the steps with a towel around my neck, celebrating with you but I haven't found it any easier to ask people for their picture. I don't consider myself a shy person at all. I guess I just don't like the suspicious looks I get when I ask. Having said that, I was at a fundraiser the other day and the local magazine asked me to take some snaps for the social pages. I was really comfortable with that because people knew what the photo was for and were happy for me to point a camera in their faces.

I'm interested that you take photos from chest height. I'd never noticed that.

Congratulations on reaching the top. It's been a long climb!

bitingmidge said...

Yes Cara, there's a big difference I think between wearing the "guise" of some sort of official capacity, and just bowling up to people with selfish purpose!

The former I even enjoy!

Hope to see a few more of yours here eventually!

Ann said...

Congratulations! I'm so surprised that you say you didn't enjoy the exercise and didn't consider yourself very good at it. I learnt so much from studying what you did and consider you a far better photographer than me. The interesting thing for me was how willing and how flattered complete strangers were to have their photo taken. They were bemused but I didn't get too many rejections. I get much more suspicion when I try street photography, which is difficult with a big camera. It never occurs to me to hold it low and use the screen, always feel more comfortable looking through the viewfinder. It also surprises me that you mostly shot that way. Mind you, because you are tall, your chest shots would be from my normal perspective :)