Naomi – Day 6 (written on day 7)

It’s Sunday morning and I am in bed on my lap top. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, it means there’s a fudged edge between work and play and perhaps my bed should be sacred and technology free, but it’s cold and I am quite enjoying this 21st Century version of a lie-in.

Yesterday met Richard Tyrone Jones (he of flaming red hair) for a photoshoot. We walked along the canal and then had a potter around Camden Passage. I am still a digital SLR novice. In my film SLR days I used an OM1 which I still have. I shot in Black and White, mostly HP5 and my interaction with the camera was about the relationship between shutter speed and aperture. In simple terms I often worked with a very shallow depth of field (ie, only a few things in sharp focus and, in my case, the background being a blur) and, in this way, I could concentrate on the framing of the picture and how I developed a relationship with my subject.

Since buying the Canon from Jacob it’s all changed. For a start I am shooting in colour and I have to adjust my vision to understand this, to know how this translates to a digital image. This is my biggest learning curve and one I am enjoying, although I have to admit my heart is still loyal to black and white images. I also have so much more choice which means I can change ISO speed from shot to shot. I know this is standard for anyone with a digital camera but for someone who learnt her craft on a Zenit it still feels like an incredible luxury. I am also learning how to see again, how to take the actual photographs as it has been a good ten years since I’ve done this.

But why mention all this – Samera said something about freelancers working in isolation but us often having similar concerns. I think the digital photography thing serves as a fitting metaphor of what I have learnt this week. When I first starting taking photographs I had to master the camera, and the darkroom. I spent many hours there perfecting my prints. The process was long and thoughtful. Today it’s much quicker and I can share the image within minutes of taking the shot. The camera offers me more choices and in many ways the whole process is more interactive and less isolating. I’m not saying it’s better (I will always love film photography, what it requires and what comes out of it), but it serves as a reminder for my very personal need for interaction.

Not much else to say about Saturday, the shoot was good albeit freezing. The meeting I was supposed to be having with Agnes and Kamaria about a poetry anthology did not happen as Kamaria got the wrong address and could not be reached on the phone. It gave me some catch up time with Agnes and we went back to hers to eat quiche and watch Star Trek Next Generation. I cycled home under an unappetising shower of cold rain. At home I hopped on my old lady of a mac and began looking for photos of Richard that had real bite, an edge which will make the viewer want to linger on the picture. I think I have one, taken in front of a shop selling monochrome prints of the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, taken on film of course.