I've never entered for a prize. Although I am competitive. Over the past few weeks I've been exploring an idea for a new series. Not sure if they fully qualify as 'portraits' although elements have what I feel is essential in portraiture. So I am biting the bullet and creating a few prints (a rare treat) and entering the National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing prize.
I have looked through previous winners and entrants to gain a sense of the level of work required. The standard of work is compelling but slightly tiring. So I am more than happy to add my series. By tiring I mean I find it hard to engage with the people being presented to me via this medium.
Pencil - Wisely / Studio Seventeen © 5D/24-70L
I am still developing the series ethos in my mind. I see this as rather long haul as most of what I'm envisioning will require developing a good working relationship with the people I will settle on shooting. It's taken me years of photographing Pencil to extract certain aspects of her and capture them.
This image below is not really part of this work but is a fine example of playing around in the studio with yet another camera change. As much as I love the Mamiya RZ67 I just can't move around with it and get involved. It's great for locked off worked or the sculpture stuff. So finally I caved in and got a Hasselblad H1. Despite being tempted by a Contax 645, I decided to invest in a current system that is modern and flexible. All I can say is 'wow'. It's a pleasure to use, the images are perfect and the digital back integrates perfectly. My only gripe is the shear cost of lenses. As much as I would love the 120mm HC that everyone keeps telling me is awesome there is just no way I'll be able to justify one any time soon. Although I am very keen to try the HTS adapter with some new sculpture work on the horizon. I so miss having movements.
Man - Wisely / Studio Seventeen © H1/132C
Additional note: In the last few hours Flickr have specified my account as 'moderate' - the only recent change, the addition of these two images. Are they moderate. They're not sexual nudity.... am I out of step with taste levels? Or should I take this as an early warning about the fate of my image to come at the judging stage?