I was looking back at the blogging I've been doing this summer and comparing it to last year's efforts. Strange how the frequency of the posts has increased yet the subject matter has changed completely. Last year I was entranced by the way in which I could use web 2,0 tools in the classroom. I was discovering how blogs, podcasts, videos and the like could fit into my teaching practice. By playing with these tools I learnt a lot that would help later on me over the winter.
This summer's learning curve was entirely different, more focus on my own interests, completely unconnected with the classroom. This year it was my turn to learn a whole bunch of new skills, to finally get to do something I've wanted to do for a very long time; namely learn how to take better photographs.
To do so I decided that I would find photographers whose work I like and try to imitate their style and approach. This started with Flickr and thankfully I came across two photographers whose images have had an enormous impact me. Strangely, they have very little in common, at least at first glance. In a sense, they are my yin and yang.
I was first attracted to Fetching's work by her gorgeous use of colour and then by the way she managed to reveal the warmth and humanity of the people she depicts. It was then that I decided that I really had to start taking more photographs of real, live people.
My other guide was Hugo, who black and white photographs of Paris, and especially the demonstrations and riots there provided an amazing sense of being there. Intensity, drama, motion and action all captured in a fraction of a second.
Later on I started looking for books by other photographers and in doing so came across the work of JeanLoup Sieff, Don MCullin and Renee Burri, all of whom have been an inspiration.