about photography for art’s sake

I’ve been taking photographs for eight years. In that time, I’ve learnt a lot about how cameras work and how to use them. I even spent a couple of years writing about cameras in photography magazines. So it’s fair to say I know how to take a picture. At least, I know how to use the camera settings to get a sharp, well-exposed image. And from (too many) hours loitering in photography groups on social media, that’s what many hobbyists are content with – a photograph that is focused on what it’s supposed to be, not blurry, and reasonably exposed. That’s enough to get a host of ‘great shot’ comments and a raft of empty likes. Well, I want more from photography.

I have always been an artist, and for me, photography is just a part of art. What ultimately matters to me is not that the subject is in focus and the exposure is ‘good’. Of course, these elements are important, but they’re things you shouldn’t really notice – what really matters is the impact of the final image. And in order to create photographs that have impact, there’s an enormous amount to learn about photography as an art and in the wider context of art as a whole.

I have thousands and thousands of sharp, well-exposed photographs in my archive – ‘great’ shots by the standards of those online groups. But to me, 99% are exceedingly average. I’ve done the technical bit, I know what I’m doing. Now it’s time to learn more about the art of photography. By reading about it, by studying others’ work, and, above all, by doing it. This blog is a record of this discovery – a journey from technically sound but average photographs to images with impact. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

The blog has three elements:

My sketchbook – explorations of my own photographs and contemplation on their artistic merits.

My notebook – information and contemplation on the art of photography.

My scrapbook – links, clippings and inspiration from around the Internet and beyond.


To see (what I consider) my best work and buy prints, you can also visit my portfolio site.