Photo Journaling: record and track

This bright winter’s day image of Jim should surely be titled ‘me and my shadow’. Anyhow it’s a rather nice reminder that the February days ahead will be longer and lighter. I too have a long winter shadow but one that can overcast my mood, so this end of the season always feels propitious.

Today starts a new month which is always a good time to begin something new or renew/freshen something. Cheers!

To that end I’m taking up the first part of an assignment from Ted Forbes @ The art of Photography to begin a Photo Journal. I’ve never thought to do one or even thought there might be a need for one but having a visual record (with notes where applicable) of printed photos is one way of really ‘seeing’ our photography rather than viewing images on screen.

Oftentimes, we rarely sense the progress we make in any given subject, as we are “in” it, doing and learning. A photo journal is the perfect way to make your progress a lot more visible to yourself,

Why you need a photo journal ~ Pursue Light

As Alex Kilbee @ The Photographic Eye emphasises, this record over time of ‘photographic work’ also allows us to keep track of what kind of photographer we are, what seems to attract us the most, as well as showing us our strengths and weaknesses, consistency/inconsistency etc.

Thinking about it now, this all seems fairly obvious but in this digital age of multiple ‘virtual’ imagery it has somehow got a little lost. But see for example Stephen McLaren’s “Photographer’s Sketchbooks” which shows the journaling of nearly 50 photographers.

A photo album? In the past we kept family photo albums as historical mementos, when film was expensive and shots had to be few and far between. The only film I’ve ever used has been on my now defunct Polaroid Spectra – nothing wrong with the camera but the film is no longer being manufactured because there were too many problems with prints not exiting readily – see Jamming with a Polaroid Spectra.

I had kept back the last 8 shot film I had and a milestone birthday back in July at the seaside seemed like the right occasion. The day was scorching, the light too bright, the photographer two parts cut, and the Polaroid jammed. But those prints I do have will be the start of my photo journal – their imperfection is appealing but so too the spontaneity. These two aspects I would want to keep in my digital photography.


12 thoughts on “Photo Journaling: record and track

  1. OK, a little confusing. Me, not you. I’ve not much business saying things about photography (other than as observer, not participant). Lets start here – I like your pictures, all I’ve ever seen. And more than photos taken in isolation – I trust you. Guess that’s my real guiding Light.

    By way of example, Jim, a dog with his shadow still attached, unlike Peter Pan. What a lovely way to see the both of them. (brilliant)

    I think (better and worse) I’m very self-educated, and like being that way. At risk of stumbling on my own words, as you study who and howsoever you do, remember please to trust yourself. You already bring a lot to the craft. You are your own best measure I think.

    Whatever you have to express, I am listening.

    1. thanks for listening Neil – I am the eternal student; its what my education taught me and gave me enough confidence to be self-taught as well! I’m also a dilettante with everything (see for example my qigong blog -so erratic I have started to pic quote post practice days!) and hence like Alice, feel I’m always running on the spot. I’ve no big goals – I just want to be a little more skilled, focused, and adept but as with the polaroids above, never to be in the pursuit of perfection! Hence I mark your words well and trust my gut feelings when it comes to what I like to capture and what I like the look and feel of.

  2. I’m following you with anticipation! Though I love all your photos, I’m a bit biased when it comes to doggies so… purrfection! 😉 Happy February!

    1. thank you Marina -I’m interested into where this journaling will take me. Hope my dilettante tendencies do not manifest – at least not for quite while!

  3. Keeping imperfection and spontaneity alive in photography is not necessarily an easy thing to do. So much in the high-tech digital world seems to work against that – photos should be tack-sharp, should reproduce reality as exactly as possible, etc. So I think it’s great that you’re doing the visual diary with the idea of retaining some of the chaos of real life in mind. I like the polaroids and the last photo. 🙂

    1. the trap is chasing perfection and missing the beauty of imperfection – I miss polaroids because they could never give anything other than that. Have just begun the journal now and hope to continue this journey!

Comments are closed.