Chris Wright: Magnum Photographer: Mark Power
Chris Wright

Magnum Photographer: Mark Power

I attended a talk last night by Magnum Photographer Mark Power at the Brighton & Hove Camera Club. To describe the talk as inspirational smacks of cliche, but Mark is a remarkable photographer and an extraordinary person.

As a photographer his achievements are amazing, ranging from books such as "The Shipping Forecast" which takes documentary photography into the realm of the imagination - Mark referred to the project as "wanting to photograph the places I'd always imagined them to be" and "The Sound Of Two Songs" a document of his love affair with a country, Poland.

He has documented some of the 20th Centuries most memorable occasions, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall "by accident" apparently and the construction of the Millenium Dome in London. He was asked by the architect Sir Norman Foster to document the redesign of the Treasury building!

If his achievements as a photographer are breathtaking, his modesty is unusual. Self effacing and at times self deprecating, his response to a question from the audience "do you talk to the subjects of your photographs?" was a startled "Good heavens no!" expanding he claimed that he sees himself as an observer rather than a participant and the camera often as a shield from the world.

Mark Power is a photographer that shoots on film because he can. He admits that digital is inevitable but insists that he will stick with film until it is no longer possible to support it. He is currently Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton. His influence will survive him. That is only true of a very few people in this business.

Published by Chris Wright on 500px

Chris Wright: So Many Social Networks, So Little Time!
Chris Wright

So Many Social Networks, So Little Time!

A confession. At one time I wrote three blogs simultaneously. On Music, Technology and Fiction. Then I discovered Flickr. I upload photographs to a bewildering number of locations, 500px, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, oh and Google+. I had some wonderful idea that this was easily manageable along the lines of my showcase being 500px, my presentable pictures being Flickr, my point 'n shoot being Tumblr and my mobile being Instagram. Just writing it makes it seem like a lot of work!

Of course the reality was different. It's a muddle and if it's the way I represent myself on line then it could do with an overhaul. I need more focus and less distraction. Me and my readers both!

Anyway, its time to rationalise. 500px stays for obvious reasons. Flickr - well I've a lot of contacts there and have built quite a collection over the past few years. It has its good points and its bad, but on balance I think I'll stay. Instagram is handy, I like the filters and the whole iPhone photography thing is fun and creative in a wholly different way.

The fall guy is Tumblr. I'm sorry Tumblr, but you and I are parting. It's been three long and eventful years, but neither of us are what we were and so I'm winding down my presence on your network.

There is a serious point buried in all this. We hear a lot about how photographers need to utilise social media better and there is an extraordinary variety of social spaces to play in. My advice is "Know what you want to be famous for". Focus and do not dilute your presence by mixing it up. If anyone wants to see my photography portfolio, it is here that they will be pointed. If they want to talk to me about technology then I'll point them to my blog.

Although there's a fair bit of politics invading that blog....sigh.

Published by Chris Wright on 500px

Writer's Block: Once upon a time…
Chris Wright
What is the first line of your favorite book?
The past is another country; they do things differently there....


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