What Interests You?
I intend this to be the last lecture I am delivering on projects. But, I may be lying. Let’s see. You may refer to my previous posts here and here and here! And, here! This is a lot of here’s. Anyway, when I did my “Seven Cities” project with the Photography Society of America, the starting point was to list down all the things that interest you. This is the starting point. What interests you? What are you passionate about?
Once you make this list, you can then refine it. I started shooting with film many years back, and have kept my interest in film. Apart from my Olympus OM-2n and Nikon F-75, which people now consider vintage, I have a Zeiss and Voigtlander, both from the 1950s. Additionally, I have an Ensign Selfix camera, made in 1933. I own a few more film cameras.
I had done a course on the history of photography. Also, travelling to the hills was impractical. Delhi is an old city, with rich history. It is a city built upon the ruins of previous ones and has been sacked, plundered and bloodied through its history. Yet, like the proverbial phoenix, it always rises proud and strong from the ashes to renew itself.
When I added up everything, I focused on the Seven Cities of Delhi.
Your Starting Point
When you find out what interests you, then you have your starting point.
From there onwards, you will begin making choices. It’s possible you may make some of these choices at the beginning, or some during the project. A few ‘projects’ are retrospective.
For example, when I moved around North India, I found myself intrigued by the designs of old doors in some of the small towns I visited. In contrast, many modern doors, with their machined uniformity, are boring and without character.
I have put a portfolio together, and am working on a min-publication. Since I desired to stay with a vintage look, and didn’t want to spend hours simulating vintage looks, I used Exposure 6, which is a superb bit of software. Or, you can use DXOs ‘Film Pack6’ software.
We’ve all suffered for two years, and many of us have become poorer. We need to pull ourselves together and move on, realizing that the world has changed forever.
This is one reason I am going to edit a bunch of street images, under the working title, “My Fellow Indian”.
Money, Money, Money!
I want to return to the hills and mountains, but this costs money. Apart from other travel costs, I will have to change my car and buy a 4-wheel drive. This, apart from my consuming desire to photograph my fellow citizens in Delhi, compels me to shift my future landscape work to 2023.
It will also give me the time to explore which part of the mountains I want to explore. It is vital to focus.
Before I go, I want to emphasize the point I made about money. When you plan your projects, be they retrospective or prospective, make a budget. Do this at the beginning. It will constrain your choices, unless you are as rich as someone like Jeff Bezos. But remember: he started in a small basement like space.
Once you decide on what interests you, you will set your direction. From there, you will make choices, and money will influence these choices.
Finally, when you put all the elements of the plan in place, you can prepare your project chart. Then you may have fun with your project!
I used Envato’s resources for some of the images, and Canva to make the visuals. I’d like to thank the photographers at Unsplash for the images in the last banner: Connor Hall, Anne Nygard, Quinten Braem, and “Visual Stores – Micheil”.