Snapshots: Celebrations, Records and Ideas

Snapshots: Celebrations, Records and Ideas, is an album of happiness and humour and things I like

Rae at Mandalay Beach, with her Zero 5x4" camera on our first wedding anniversary

Rae at Mandalay Beach, with her Zero 5×4″ camera on our first wedding anniversary

jbaphoto110214A016.mod.smallMy recent seventieth birthday was a kind of way marker for me which showed me it is time to cease my dark environmental work. Especially my work devoted to describing the destruction and defense of our forest. Perhaps the contemplative images of the coast and the engaged Naked Portraits of women will continue for a while, but I think these too will tail off during the next one or two years


Kat over-posing with SinarI have always made snapshots, but he idea for a dedicated portfolio of┬áLeicasnaps (Leica snapshots) came from the results of a day making easy prints from 35mm snaps as a prelude to making of real prints, large prints of real images, from real 10×8 and 5×4 inch negatives. All I thought I was doing at the time was making a few prints for fun, but looking at the prints has raised questions and an idea

jbaphoto130103A12.mod.smallI now see the Leicasnaps is a bigger and more important body of work than I first thought. I had seen these Leicasnaps being for personal consumption by family and friends. When I started to review the negatives and made an initial list for printing the narrative streams in the work were already evident. However, the first day’s negatives were selected on a totally random “how will this look” approach with no thought to chronology, subject area or logic. The print list is already big, several pages in my darkroom work book jbaphoto131107A020.mod.smallThe starting point for this 35mm snapshot portfolio was the arrival of Rae Starr in September 2008. The images are a personal record and the body of the work centres around celebration of Rae, but also the garden, records of making the series of Naked Portraits with big cameras and lots of things that have taken my interest or have good light or refer to ideas for future “real pictures”, or things that get snapped. So the title Snapshots: Celebrations, Records and Ideas . . . jbaphoto131107B034.mod.smallThe size of the prints took a little consideration, image sizes were first 6 x 9 inches, too small, then 10 x 15″, too big and finally settling on 7.3 x 11 inches on 11×14 Fomabrom paper

jbaphoto140108A00.mod.smallThe next printing will be in an ordered way, with images chosen from each year from 2008 and selected with more mindfulness

jbaphoto140922A003.mod.smallBefore going into the darkroom for the next batch of images the question Rae and I are considering is what to do with the prints. To keep them for family and friends, or to publicly show them? Should they be in bound portfolios? Should they be ordered chronologically, or by subject or by other means of classification? Currently I want a wall of them in a grid, but beyond that in random disorder. Random disorder lets the viewer imagine their own narrative sequences of the pictures

Page from notebook, first thoughts on showing prints

Page from notebook, first thoughts on showing prints

These snapshots are decidedly not “street photography. I only very rarely steal images of people without the knowledge, and I feel to do so is theft. My exceptions to this are timber industry workers, too stupid to know what a camera is, timber industry bosses and their politicians and police. These deserve all the abuse they get

Note on Cameras:

As well as the screw mount Leica negs, there are a few images from Leica M2, Nikon F, Voigtlander Vitessa and DeJUR D3 in the mix. M series Leicas, and Ninon Fs are too big to carry, the Voigtlander Vitessa and DeJur D3 too odd and the Rollei 35B is too small, but very nice. I have come to embrace the idiosyncrasies of the LTM Leicas and the re-engagement with the snapshot has partly come from my rediscovery of these cameras and their ease of use, that is ease of use to me, but . . .