Thursday, 10 May 2012

Where I stand...

Watch this first...

''The most important thing you can do is a lot of work, a huge volume of work''

When I first picked up a DSLR I had no idea about how hooked I would get. Yes I've used cameras before; for snapshots, sometimes disposable ones when out on the drink and sometimes pocket cameras when I've been on holiday...but there was something about the possibilities of using a DSLR and the control it gives.


I think it's fair to say I'm obsessed with the art, I could never really paint or draw, so always found it hard to express myself artistically. I seem to remember an art teacher at my secondary school even ripping-up a piece of my work and throwing it out the window...maybe I should have done the same to him.
If I'm honest there isn't a day that goes by when I don't capture one thing or another which for me is a big part of the learning process! No-one else is going to truly teach you how to use a camera, yes they may help you with settings and talk about formal elements  but it's really up to you to get out there and shoot.
I'm happy to say I honestly know what all the functions are on my camera, and when is best to use them! I'm not saying I've mastered it, far from it, but it's second nature now and gives me a lot more scope in the field I want to work in.

©2012Matt Elliott

I seem to remember a friend of mine saying there are three types of photographer, ones who shoot from the head, the heart or the sleeve. For me I would say it's from the heart due to the pleasure I get from it, the day it bores me or I lose my passion for it I'll give-up, but I can't see that happening anytime soon.
I'm always flattered when people comment or give me positive feedback on my work, I don't mind constructive negative feedback too; it only aids in the long-term. I'm also happy to help others, which I do quite a lot!
Looking back at where I have come from, with regards to my early images, it sometimes makes me cringe! I won't delete them as I find it really helpful to see how far I have come and how far I have got to go...a long way. One thing I will say is if you truly love photography and are passionate about will show and you will learn fast! You should always stick to your guns with your work too, yes take advice, but if you've made something and are happy with it then say so! I've seen the work of some professionals and coughed user my breath ''what the hell is that!'' I won't go into the question of 'what is art?'' that's way too long of a debate, for me I know what I like and I will say so. I don't look at someones work now and 'rubbish' it unless I've at least tried to put it into context, you should at least try and understand what the person is trying to express, even if it is a bit confusing.

©2012Matt Elliott

Long-term I'm still not sure where all this is leading too. I have a family, two young children and commitments, sometimes I look around at some of the younger students I'm working with and have a touch of envy. For some, they have the world at their feet and should grab any opportunity they get with both hands. I spent my early working years travelling the world in a work capacity, looking back at the places I have seen and things I've done, I would have loved to have had a camera strapped around my neck alongside my rifle. All I can do is stay positive, tick boxes that need ticking and not lose sight of why I am doing this in the first place...

*The images above I took recently while walking around the Hoe with a friend. To be honest I've 'done' Plymouth to the death now and find very little in the way of inspiration now, especially when I see the work of others from around the world. But the fact is, always have your camera to hand! I'm really happy with the images above, and it's quite rare for me to like my own work.

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