Photographs Not Taken

125“Photographs Not Taken” is the name of a new book described as “a collection of essays by photographers about moments that never became a picture”. Judging from the review, it seems that many of the stories centre around ethical dilemmas; those moments in which even experienced photo journalists just can’t bring themselves to take a picture.

My own “photographs not taken” are for far more mundane reasons. In most cases they’re the ones that got away, and I wish I had been able to take them rather than choosing not to for moral or ethical reasons. Obviously it’s hard to illustrate a story about pictures I haven’t taken, but the photo above is an example of one of the possible reasons. Faced with the incoming weather and the prospect of getting lost and very wet halfway up a mountain in the Lake District, I opted instead to take a quick snap of the approaching clouds and beat a hasty retreat. Read More…

Romantics at Tate Britain

118Yes, it’s Hadleigh Castle yet again! It’s an old slide scan and, unlike last time, there’s no snow to be seen. This time it’s here because one of Constable’s paintings of the castle is featured in the Romantics exhibition currently on at the Tate Britain.

The word romantic, in this context, has a particular definition that has nothing to do with romance as we might think of it now – it’s not about Valentine’s Day and roses. It seems to have been a reaction against the rationalism of the age of enlightenment; a celebration of emotion and feeling over scientific reason. Read More…

Street Photography

60

On Saturday I had a chance to see the street photography exhibition currently running at the Museum of London. I love good street photography, although I appreciate that it can be an acquired taste; the results can often look like random snaps, even from the masters of the genre. It’s not a style I’ve had any success with, which is why this post is not accompanied by any photos. Try as I might – and I have tried – I’m just too self conscious when I’m out with my camera. I go out with the intention of getting some true street photos and come back with half a dozen tourist style snaps of buildings. Read More…