I’m currently doing a photography course. It’s just 2 hours a week and quite basic, but many of us have been very keen and enthusiastic, and are ahead of ourselves, so our tutor suggested that I have a go at doing a photography book.
The idea for the book came about because, when I was taking photos for my photography course project in Iceland, I became interested in including people in my photographs, rather than waiting for the right moment to capture a shot without anyone in it. A constant stream of tour buses arrived at the main tourist sites, spilling people out onto the paths… Americans, Europeans and Asians, armed with cameras, smart phones and selfie sticks, and they were all jostling for position at the viewpoints. They’d even climb over barriers to get ‘the’ shot to prove they were there, damaging the fragile landscape, to the horror of national park rangers. And then they were gone as fast as they came… back on the bus and off to the next stop on the bucket list, missing the opportunity to see what was around the corner, unaware what they were missing, and taking no time to find a moment of calm to enjoy the experience and soak up the beauty of their surroundings. Thinking about this, I felt sad that so many people seemed to be basing their memories on photographs, rather than experiences, and worried about the impact of tourism in a place like Iceland… 2 million visitors in a small country with a population of only 330,000. I wondered… will Iceland’s beautiful natural wonders still be there for our grandchildren?’
This has resulted in an interest in landscape documentary photography, and telling a story using my images. As well as including some long-exposures of waterfalls and sea for my project for this course, as I originally planned, I have now included images that show people. Sometimes these show the crowds of visitors and sometimes they show a moment of peace, contemplating the beauty of the landscape.
I have collated many of the images into a book, just to see what it looks like, and to help me consider whether it does convey the message I’d like it to. The book is called Bucket list. It’s also available here, where it’s much easier to browse and the full photos can be seen better. Just expand it to fullscreen and use the arrow keys. I honestly don’t expect anyone to buy it, but I have ordered a copy for myself because it’s my first ‘proper’ photography project, which aims to provoke thoughts and discussion, rather than just being a collection of pretty pictures.
I’d appreciate feedback on the book and whether viewers do understand what I’m trying to say in the pictures, having read the introduction on the first page. If you have time, please comment below. I’d love to know what you think. But please be gentle!
Thank you 🙂