From time to time I get asked what “kind” of photographer am I. It’s not an easy question to answer quickly or without sounding pretentious. I usually mumble something about having a go at anything and might even add that I particularly enjoy landscape photography. If I’m feeling garrulous I might add that I enjoy photographing people but I’m rarely that forthcoming.
Inside, what I want to say is that I relate strongly to the approach of a Flâneur. A what? Comparing myself to a 19th century French literary type would indeed sound very pretentious but it is the nearest I have come to in recent years in describing my approach to photography. But it fits surprisingly well, especially when I think about how I prefer to approach photographing in towns and cities; the man of leisure, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street.
I am a wanderer with a camera.
I do sometimes venture out with an objective in mind but that is the exception and normally connected with trying out a new bit of kit or trying out a technique I’ve been reading about. Occasionally it will be to capture something specific; just this morning I went out with the Fuji X100T to capture shadows, the results of which are showcased on this post. But on the whole my modus operandi is to grab a camera and wander. It suits my temperament, fits around the needs of a family outing to some degree and I like the serendipity of it all.
One of the many drawbacks of a very literal mind such as mine is the need for definition, the need to label everything in order to aid understanding. Whilst I’ve only realised it in the last few years I suspect that I’ve always been like it but working creatively rather than in a purely analytical or logical manner has really highlighted this tendency for me. I naturally gravitate towards anything that looks as if it will help me label or define concepts and am prone to wasting too much time on such considerations.
Hopefully this post has got it out of my system for a while though!