elenahpowell

A belated hello

In Rambling on January 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I’m awful at keeping anything updated at all. I start things to keep track of where my work is going, and after about a day I forget or get frustrated and nothing ever comes from it… I’ve abandoned three deviantART accounts (I’m trying to get one going again) and probably two or three different blogs. The only thing I actually use is Flickr, so I don’t exactly have high expectations of this.

And what the hell is this anyway? Well, I have no idea. No, seriously. I imagine it’s just going to be a dump for bits and pieces of my work, the odds and ends that make it out of my sketchbooks and onto Flickr, and given that I work predominantly as an analogue, lo fi photographer not a lot does make it onto Flickr…I can see a flaw in this plan already. I have countless notebooks for writing down my ideas (and to be honest I tend to not write down most the stuff I think of), but nowhere to really ramble to my hearts content about my work…rambling is one thing I’m exceptionally good at…

Don’t expect anything earth shattering; expect something entirely erratic and a little bizarre.

I keep saying ‘my work’ as if you know what I’m talking about (maybe you do?). I’m a photography student, I don’t like calling myself a photographer, it feels very restrictive to me, I don’t just use photography (although it’s what I love the most). I write stories, I draw badly and I try and combine as many things as possible with photography. I can’t call myself an artist, mostly due to looking at the work of others and deciding mine isn’t half as good or as intelligent or beautiful. I grew up with digital and film; my first camera was a garish green (oddly shaped) polaroid camera which I still have. I started my first sketchbook aged five! Although most uncharacteristically I never finished it. An old teacher of mine introduced me to photography, what I call “real” photography. Something with a purpose. I think, if it hadn’t been for finding photography – and in doing so finding something that I was good at & something I loved – I wouldn’t be writing this. Photography – and all art – heals and saves and cures.

The first thing I used to say about myself was that I was visually impaired, but over the past year I’ve started to describe myself first and foremost as a photographer; my disability is less important in defining who I am. Of course my lack of sight does limit my work, but simultaneously it makes it mine because no one else can possibly see like I do, and the world that I see is very different from what I imagine everyone else sees. I often see things “wrong”, I’ll mistake things for something entirely different (and more often than not, inappropriate). It makes life much more interesting, one of my favourites is a woman with a fluorescent coat around her waist who I mistook for an old man in a yellow tutu… Photography has become a way for me to deal with difficult things in my life, a previous project focused on my sight and using plastic cameras to deliberately blur and distort images (seeing as I can’t use manual focus) and my current project is a slightly scaled back method of dealing with my social anxiety & panic attacks. I have big plans for future projects, perhaps slightly more controversial and…difficult, but still along the same theme of healing myself. We’ll see.

I’ve gone off on a tangent again… So. I said I’m an analogue photographer, right? I turned my bedroom into a darkroom last summer, I keep bottles of chemicals under my desk and I normally have a roll of film drying on a pice of string stretched between two hooks… I work in my studio come bedroom, the walls are almost totally covered with bookcases and images, I buy a lot of books and a lot of cameras, I collect a lot of absolute crap, I have more cameras than I can hold at once… My attention span has been exhausted, perhaps that was enlightening – or at least interesting…

-E

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