Monday 29 September 2008

Paradise or...

I'm feeling that I should have seen the connection between my photo Into the late summer light (see previous post) and W.Eugene Smith's Walk to Paradise Garden as pointed out by a number of people. Of course I was aware of Eugene's Smith's picture, although it's not something that I've held uppermost in my mind. If pushed, I would say that I have always found it a touch sentimental.

I think the photos (his and mine) are very different, and the reason that I hadn't made a connection - apart from only just having processed it - could be because of the 'mind-space' I am in as the photographer, rather than the viewer. The difference is maybe more apparent to me because of the process I went through taking it (just one of a roll of exposures as I tried to keep up with them) and because of the difference in motivation in taking the picture cf Eugene Smith who - and I've looked up a bit about it - needed a kind of revelation at that time or at least reason for carrying motivation was very different. The results seem very different too, to me at least, even the play of light, although obviously there are two figures heading towards the light, from shady greenery. I do like the connection being there, though, after the event (if that makes sense).

I think it shows how valuable it can be to get feedback on your own work. It also raises interesting questions - where work comes from, how it relates to all that has come before. Whilst acknowledging the past (with gratitude) I'm not someone who believes that everything has been done already. I believe the opposite - there is everything yet to do.

Saturday 27 September 2008

into the late summer light

Into the Late Summer Light ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

All Images ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

Monday 22 September 2008

a blustery walk

...and a steep climb on the Downs a few weeks ago with an old friend. Time passes too quickly and months and even years can go by and we don't see each other. We must do another walk whilst the weather holds (but who can rely on the weather - we'll do another walk anyway!..)

All Images Copyright ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

Friday 19 September 2008

not the costa brava

Into the River ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

Down by the river - on one of the few days of 'summer' we had this year! Fortunately we were away from London for it (this is from the same August trip to East Anglia).
This is the second (or third, or fourth) entry into the murky waters, (by which time the pockets - no idea why they found themselves inside out - were full of water).

Despite the dreary summer we've had, the weather now is gorgeous - so hoping to get out and about and enjoy it during September, and hopefully longer!

nikon fm3a, Ilford delta 100

All Images Copyright ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

Wednesday 17 September 2008

forgotten cameras not forgotten!

from the online photographer today

For starters, I'm going to migrate the Forgotten Camera series over to, although I'll post reminders here when new ones go up...

The good thing about this is that "Forgotten Camera" is now an ongoing series, with no deadline. So if you missed your chance before but still would like to participate, now you can.

There's not always a great deal that interests me on the online photographer, but it's good to see an ongoing film interest taken up.
Link to

Tuesday 16 September 2008

another corner of a field

boy in a suffolk field ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

A different corner, and boy - still from our trip in August, but with the RZ. Back in the city and well settled back to 'normal'; already it seems an age ago.

All Images Copyright ⓒ Cate McRae 2008 All Rights Reserved

Saturday 13 September 2008

forgotten cameras

and The Online Photographer

I had a look at - haven't checked it for a while (thanks to Suzanne for the link!) The results of the 'forgotten cameras' challenge is quite fun to see (deadline passed). As for 'forgotten cameras'...I do understand the passion. A fun thread to follow - and quite informative also.

Tuesday 2 September 2008

for the record!

agfa billy record (1935)ⓒ cate mcrae 2008

agfa billy record (image 2)ⓒ cate mcrae 2008

agfa billy record 4.5
c.1935 (art deco model)
6x9 folder

All Images ⓒ Cate McRae 2008; All Rights Reserved

Monday 1 September 2008

some reasons why...

using this camera has been such a pleasure.

The obvious - it sets me free from the rules. Not being quite sure what you are seeing (composing) - but sure enough. Not being sure what you will get - but sure enough. The freedom to be instinctive. Having a go, with exposure, with focus. It doesn't come out 'right'? So what. If it goes wrong, blame the camera. Which means my stern editing self is sent packing. What a relief.

Light, light, compared with the RZ and so quiet - yet such gorgeous large negatives. I don't have to lift it to my eye, so it's quite discreet - except when the finder is obscured and I'm peering. I was quite surprised that in the town no-one seemed to notice it...a good thing for me, I prefer to be invisible. It struck me that some of the younger kids may not have known what it was...

The shape of the negatives. Imperfect. Have purposefully kept them all full-frame. And I love the look of the negatives from the pre-war lens.

Truly from another era. A sense of history - and, a direct lineage to this camera. I used it myself well over two decades ago; what was I then? What was photography to me, then? Have I changed, strayed, grown, wasted time?

And face to face with my past - the taking of the pictures, back then, and the subjects of the pictures. It feels good to bring the past alive again, in many ways, bring it towards the present. At the same time, using this camera makes it easier to look back, in a way that seems completely natural, completely 'right'..

The lineage again, going further back...knowing who owned the camera - one owner, before me (I think she must have been the first) a relation who rode a gearless bike over West Country hills before the War, riding thirty miles at a time, with this camera in her basket.

The bad things - no pictures of hers remain. They were most likely part of the lost box of her family photographs, gone missing in one of many moves.

Another bad thing - good and bad - I do not want to crop these negatives. I feel more strongly about this than any other photos I have taken or formats I have used. So no cropping to 6 x 7, and no 6 x 9 enlarger yet (time for some alternative processes, perhaps...).