Inside this issue
Julian Barkway on pushing the boundaries
Iam what can best be described as an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I try not to follow fashion or trends and I’m never happier than shooting with my 5x4 camera on good old sheet film. The intimate landscape is what interests me which is, perhaps, surprising given that I have been based in Switzerland for a number of years. My favoured habitat is the bottom of a rocky gorge but I do occasionally emerge to shoot the bigger vista. And I do occasionally shoot digital - but shhh, don’t tell anyone! website
If, like me, you spend time on photo-sharing websites, both sharing your own work and viewing what others are getting up to, you will doubtless be aware of the dangers of getting too comfortable - complacent, even. Once you get to a level of ability where you can reliably produce images which receive lots of positive comments from your peer group, there is a strong temptation to simply carry on feeding your audience what it is you think they want. We all like a bit of praise, of course, but too much can actually be a hindrance to developing as a photographer since it's usually criticism, not praise, that spurs us on to greater heights. Unmitigated praise, as enjoyable to soak in as a hot bath, can often act as a brake on creativity, offering us a warm and welcoming comfort-zone that can become increasingly difficult to leave. And leave it we must, if we are to improve - especially if personal expression is the goal.