Sometimes you just have bite the bullet and go for something even if you think that you have no chance in succeeding. It’s a moral fibre building exercise right?
I have been subscribed to the excellent Black + White Photography magazine for the last three years.
It’s a superb showcase of monochrome photography in all its forms – digital and wet darkroom, film and digital media. The articles are informative and within the magazine’s pages you can see some of the best exponents of black and white photography, as well as some of the new, up-and-coming masters. They have some of the best photographers and wet and digital darkroom specialists write for them each month. I defy anyone who has read any of Tim Clinch’s articles, not to look forward to the next month’s offering. The man is not only an expert in his field but completely entertaining.The magazine itself is beautifully presented with superb reproductions of the photographs rendered on its quality-paper pages. Like other photography publications, it runs projects for its readers each month which serves to inspire them to look that little bit deeper into their photographic vision and to then send their images to the magazine with the chance of winning a prize.
Month after month I have looked at the superb monochrome images that have been entered into the various projects and I have always felt that my own images were found wanting – they could never hope to match those heights of skill and vision that are represented in the pages of the magazine.
Well, a couple of months ago I must have had an confidence aberration because I placed some images on a disk and sent them to the magazine, entered into their ‘Photo Project 4 – The Journey’. I had built a portfolio of the images I had taken in Italy whilst on a tour of the Lake Garda and Dolomites area and I was quite pleased with them. In my own mind I was aspiring to place myself on the same creative and technical footing as those excellent photographers who had succeeded in the projects before and I had no doubt that my photographs wouldn’t be used, but for me it was a big enough step just to send them to the magazine.
You can imagine my shock then when I heard from the editor, Elizabeth Roberts, advising me that I had actually won the May Photo Project award. Three of my images were to be printed in a two page spread. To say I was pleased is an understatement. It’s always nice of course to hear from family and photographic friends when they like your work – it is certainly most satisfying, but to be complemented by people who see excellent images every day of the week is just mind-blowing.
Whilst just getting my images printed in the magazine was prize enough, I had also won £100 worth of goods from Hahnemuhle Fine Art who supply exhibition quality photographic papers. I don’t print my own images, but I have, over the last two years, thought about starting. It is the logical conclusion to the taking and processing of your own photographs. However the last couple of years has also seen me change from Olympus to Nikon cameras, and so all available funds were diverted onto that course of action. Now that those major investments have ended for the time being, the winning of the Hahnemuhle materials has made me think anew about printing my own images. To that end I have decided to invest in a printer, probably the Epson R3000 because of its monochrome reproduction and I will start the no-doubt initially frustrating steps of printing my own photographs.
I am really looking forward to getting started.
If you want to have a look ta the images that appeared in the magazine, they are numbered 19565, 19678 and 20151 within my portfolio here
You can also view them on Flickr.