One of the activities with which I enjoy frittering away my time in the real world is photography. Unfortunately, these days I find it difficult to fit it in amongst all the other activities that fill my days: work, writing, SL and the everyday tasks of living that somehow seem to expand to fill the available time.
Even so, I’ve always loved photography and I wish I was a lot better at it than I am! Photography has always for me been an almost magical activity – capturing and keeping a moment in time is a special thing. Sadly though, the democratisation of the medium, through the proliferation of devices that can capture images, and the presence of a camera in pretty much everyone’s pocket these days, has in many ways diluted the potency of photography. It’s not that the equipment isn’t up to the job, indeed the capability of the average smartphone camera can easily exceed that of dedicated photography equipment… The problem is a poor image is still a poor image, no matter how good the equipment or optics.
What defines a poor image is contentious, but I have my own views on the matter, and whilst others may feel that the technical side is everything, that’s not such a big deal for me. I think that a great photo can still be a great photo, even if it’s technically faulty – some of the greatest images ever captured are poorly focussed, badly lit, dodgily exposed and suffer from numerous technical glitches. What makes a poor photo for me is inelegant framing, bland subject matter, and a lack of something that is hard to define: Let’s call it passion. Unfortunately, it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of photography that we’re subjected to these days falls into the category of ‘poor’.
Maybe I shouldn’t say too much on the subject – my own photography leaves much to be desired, something that I’m well aware of, but I do think it needs to be said!
One of the key points of photography is to know your strengths and weaknesses, and these will often coincide with your choices of subject matter. When it comes to my own preferences, I’m drawn to documentary, wildlife and travel photography, mainly because these are also those subjects I find appealing and compelling, but also because I believe that a photograph should tell a story, and these are subjects that have a huge capacity for storytelling. A good photo is more than just appealing to the eye: It should draw you in, make you think, and take you to another place.
I know that it’s unlikely I’ll ever be good enough to have my own exhibition in the real world – although, that won’t stop me trying! – but one of my early goals in SL was to have an inworld gallery, and back in 2010, that’s exactly what I did. It was only a small a small affair but then, the following year with the aquisition of my first parcel, I built my own bespoke gallery, and it’s been there ever since. It’s been four years since The Gallery hosted a new collection, but this Saturday, 3rd April, sees the unveiling of a brand new exhibit – ‘Human’.
“There’s a human being behind the avatar”
But, what does it mean to be human?
In this collection, I explore what it means to be human, from an observer’s perspective. The images – some posed, some candid – are everyday people, simply living their lives: Different people, different places, different situations, but every one of them has their own story to tell, in their own unique, personal way.
I make no attempt to interpret or relate those stories – instead I ask you to make of them what you will… To forge a human connection with a stranger and try to understand their world. I’ve avoided negative or deliberately provocative images – we see enough of that on the news and social media, and I earnestly believe human beings can do so much better than that, if we only try.
The exhibition opens at 9.00pm UK/1:00pm SLT on 3rd April at the Nowhere Land Gallery, and I’d love to see you there. The first hour will see a champagne reception, and I’ll be present to answer any questions and talk about my images – if you can come along, I’d love to see you 🙂
Pictures of you, pictures of me
Hung upon your wall for the world to see
Pictures of you, pictures of me
Remind us all of what we used to be
The Last Goodnight – Pictures of You