Personal projects: Shoot what you like

Posted on by Bellamy


Personal projects: Shoot what you like
As people have been asking me, I thought it was about time I shared some of my own work. So here it is, I hope you enjoy it.

I rarely show my work on the site, for a number of reasons. Mainly that I am consider the site to be a vehicle to show other peoples work and I feel that I should put others work before mine. But also because I am extremely critical of my own work and it takes a lot of pushing for me to show my work. But people have been pushing, a lot. So here is a selection of my favourite pieces as of late.

I have been shooting for a long time, but since I have been running the site I have become so wrapped up in it that I have little time to actually pick up a camera and get out there. And when I do it is in fits and starts, with little direction. Normally this would bother me, but it seems to suit me, as I feel really strong burst of inspiration sometime, and that is a good feeling.

Fortunately my job gives me the opportunity to travel and this benefits me as it gives me the chance to focus on the place that I am in, so I can shoot what I like to shoot. It also has the added benefit of giving me a fresh set of eyes for when I do come back to Japan.

This style of working gives me the chance to see lots of different locations which suits my visual style really well, but it does make for disjointed pieces. I don’t really do projects at the moment, as I find myself so caught up with working on the site that I have little time. So I just shoot when I can and shoot what I see. I might go a month with only shooting one or two rolls, and then I go to a different location and shoot 20 or 30 rolls. This gives me a lot of varied images, which takes me a long time to come to terms with visually.

I guess the point is for me to keep shooting and shoot what you like. I shoot what I see and each image that I enjoy has little pieces of humour dark or light. I think perhaps that the images are a visual reflection of my personality. I can see the mood I was in when I was shooting them.

I do feel that projects are an important vehicle for developing your style. But when you don’t have the time it is important to still keep shooting, even if it is infrequently. We cannot all shoot all day every day.

But I also like this technique, as it gives me time to sit on the images and go through them again and again until I really feel happy. Letting some images stew gives you the chance to revisit them and see things you may have looked over before.

I guess what I am saying with these images is shoot what catches your eye. These subjects appeal to me personally and I take pictures for me, not for anyone else. If other people like my images that is lovely, but for me the main thing is shooting. It is what keeps me going.

Cheers
JCH

8 Responses to Personal projects: Shoot what you like

Garrett Byers March 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm

I enjoyed this post very much, Thank You for sharing some of your work. You really have some great photos here I really enjoyed “Saitama Tri-X” caught my eye and made me laugh, just wonderful! :D

Reply
Scott W March 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Really nice, Bellamy. I really like the grit of your Neopan 1600 images. I was surprised there wasn’t more contrast in the Tri-X images though. How do you rate your Tri-X when shooting? Thanks for a great post.

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Ani March 24, 2014 at 11:02 pm

thanks for the reminder of shooting what inspires you…I really enjoyed the article and the images.

“I take pictures for me, not for anyone else. If other people like my images that is lovely, but for me the main thing is shooting. It is what keeps me going.”

Reply
Kate March 25, 2014 at 12:25 am

“I think perhaps that the images are a visual reflection of my personality. I can see the mood I was in when I was shooting them.”

“But I also like this technique, as it gives me time to sit on the images and go through them again and again until I really feel happy. ”

My sentiment as well ! Photography means much to ‘me’

I sometimes impose some fuzzy goal of perfection to my work which often end up disappointing me. Until one image just reminds me why I love photography so much, and you have expressed that feeling very well.

Thank you for sharing !

Reply
Dan Castelli March 25, 2014 at 1:57 am

Thank you for sharing your work and the thinking process behind it. I share a similar approach: I shoot what catches my eye. For projects, I spent almost 30 years documenting the Viet Nam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. I limited my work to the Veteran’s Day Holiday (11/11). I like to shoot people in art museums;
how they look at or position themselves while looking at the work in the gallery.
I like humorous situations or unusual juxtapositions. I never try and shoot people in a bad situation or an embarrassing moment.

I find that having a couple of projects in the back of my mind helps when I go out with my camera – they serve to push through the photographer’s block. You may not make any images related to a project, but the projects may serve as a starting or jumping off point that may lead you in a new visual direction.

Since I don’t need to meet deadlines or work for a client, I can shoot a half a roll a month, or 10 rolls in an afternoon. I set the pace, I work to make images that please me. See some of my work at Flickr dcastell9574.

Thank you.

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Sam C March 25, 2014 at 5:40 am

The shot of the phone box really resonates with me, I can’t say why but I just totally love it. I think our shooting styles are quite similar in ways. I also shoot relatively unplanned and when I see something that moves me I frame it and shoot. Its hard to put into words but I totally agree when you say that your photos reflect the mood you were in at that given time. Keep it up and please share more work as and when it comes!

Reply
Don Craig May 3, 2014 at 6:17 am

Great stuff. I like pictures with people in them. The kid with the finger up his nose cracks me up. :))

Reply

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