Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

pictures from the allotment

"Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but Footprints"

Here are some more photographs taken from the allotment
I talked about yesterday, some of which I have sold in my Gallery and that has had me puzzling over the quote above.

'Frosted Flowers'

Photography is one of the very few things I do, with a growing family, that doesn't cost me money. Wandering along on my own with my camera capturing the 'magic' is mine and I don't have to pay a fee or a tax for any of it. The countryside is just there waiting for me with birds, squirrels, water voles, sheep and cows putting on a show that

doesn't cost a penny.

'Rays of Light'
But thinking about the quote, I do 'take'. I print my photographs and sell them, I get something out of all this natural giving and do I ever put anything back? Suddenly I feel very selfish and .. eek ... exploitative! Perhaps I'm over thinking it - hey I've nothing to feel guilty about today so lets invent something! hmmmm

'Smiling Flowers'

When my group and I visit the local nature parks and places of interest we pay for the car parks or we pay an entrance fee so thats fine, no guilt there and when I go to my favourite canal locations in this area I take bread for the shivery ducks so I supposed they don't mind being my muses for half an hour. The cows, well cows are such flirts they will happily pose for hours on end pulling funny faces for absolutely nothing. But how does it work when you are photographing something that in essence belongs to someone else, like the allotment, should you ask first?

'Cold Cabbage'
I went to take pictures in Leicester at the Highcross Centre, a gem of patterns and architectural elements for any photographer and I got 'told off' by security. It hadn't occurred to me that I would need permission to photograph outside the building at 8am but the manager from Waggamamas (which had an amazing reflection of the building in the window ) came out and told me to go away and then the heavys descended in the form of a gadget laden security guard, who directed me to the Management Suite to get my okays. I tried to show her on my camera that I was infact taking pictures of the stunning blue sky against the supporting steel of the top most corner of the centre but apparently in that part of Leicester even the sky belongs to the big boys and us mere mortals cant have a piece of it without permission.

'Dawn of an English Morn'

The same thing happened in my local Co-Op (a large department store) They have some amazing displays in their homewares department, lovely patterns made by repeated objects and shiny, sparkly things hanging in rows holding reflections to die for. So I was snapping away with my i-phone in order to put them on my Instgram page and I have to admit this time I did feel a little sheepish but I wasn't going to sell these pictures, I was just taking them for the joy of the capture when oops wrist slap by the manageress
" I can't let you take photographs, you might be a competitor trying to steel our ideas"

I'm hoping to take a model to Calke Abbey to capture some Vouge like shots against the blistering shutters in the abandoned rooms. Now I know I'm going to need permission for that and I suspect its going to cost rather a lot for the privilege. I haven't plucked up the courage to make the phone call yet......

1 comment:

  1. I read this the other day and have been pondering on it ever since. Something was niggling at me and it's taken a while to work out what it is. I can see what you're getting at when you say you're taking something and giving nothing back, but I see it a different way. To me, if I take a photo of something that inspires me, it's almost like paying tribute to that thing, noticing its beauty, or interest, and giving back to it by honouring it with a photograph. It feels more like a two-way exchange. It brings to mind the way in which some tribal cultures pay respect to an animal they've killed for food. They thank the animal for giving its life to help feed them - of course, the animal didn't really have a lot of choice, but it's a very different feeling from going to the supermarket and buying a shrink-wrapped package and giving no thought to where it's come from or what was given up so that you can eat. So I'd say it's more about the attitude of the photographer - there are photographers who 'take' without thought or mercy, and there are others who're engaged in something more like an exchange with their subject. It's the difference between paparazzi, who 'steal' their photographs against the subject's will, and the portrait photographer who's sensitive to their subject and works with them to the benefit of both. In the end I think it comes down to something spiritual and there are many photographers who approached their photography that way - Minor White springs to mind. Anyway, thanks for a very interesting post that really got me thinking.