My photographic process

  1. Go on a trip e.g. travel to somewhere along the Thames / initiate a series e.g. Heterotopia (Camley Street)
  2. Take pictures (much could be written about this part of course…)
  3. Import into Lightroom
  4. Look through them and either be depressed or very slightly hopeful; apply metadata; create a Lightroom Collection set; import into Collection sub-folder named All
  5. Back up to two external drives
  6. Identify the better images, labeling them green in Lightroom, apply filter so that only photos marked green are visible; move these into a new sub-folder called Candidates
  7. Re-edit repeatedly, discovering a very rough narrative, looking for rhythms in the sequences
  8. Launch myself into the chosen photos, trying to work into, dig into them, throw something at them (in Lightroom, sometimes in Photoshop) and see if anything catches fire while connecting to/deepening my memory of the subject/experience. I’m searching for something to make me smile, fascinate me, surprise me, searching for patterns, possibilities
  9. The treatment of the photographs – whether they are treated as duotone, made black and white or remain in colour – is inspired by the photographs themselves
  10. At some point, if the images have any value to me, I start to fall in love with them. I marvel at them and can hardly drag my eyes from them. I’m amazed I can take such great photographs. This is not egotistical nonsense, it’s not in comparison with anybody else. I don’t think I’m the most amazing photographer/artist ever or anything like that. I just get great pleasure/satisfaction from the images I’ve taken, the editing and treatment of them and the visual/conceptual rhythms created by them
  11. I arrange and re-arrange the series editing down, always trying/struggling to be strict, to focus on the images themselves, to recognise their strengths or their weaknesses; rejects at this point are labelled yellow; rejects that are the most difficult to dispose of are labelled blue
  12. I review the rejects in light of the treatment of the chosen ones, see if any now fit in, if they do they get labelled green
  13. I’m always looking for a name for the sequence, thinking whether I need to return to the place if possible/necessary to take more, writing rough notes or assembling quotes to serve as an introduction if the work demands it
  14. I reach some kind of plateau. I don’t need to keep returning to look at the images now
  15. At this point I need to leave the series for days, weeks or even months before returning to it – until the love and fascination has cooled and I can look with more clear eyes
  16. Weeks or months later I return to the series; I may edit further, re-arrange, tweak the treatments recognising, say, that they are too contrast-ey or too pale, that I’ve over done the treatment perhaps
  17. Either I move the images to the ‘Waiting’ meta-folder because I realise they’re actually not good enough or eventually I publish the work on my website. At time of writing I’ve been capturing a screenshot of a map of the area in which the photographs were taken, I remove all text from the map using Photoshop and I use this as the preface for the series
  18. Sometime later (weeks, months, years) – I’ll review the series again and may re-edit, retreat, remove completely or find myself still satisfied.

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