My two struggles!

Apologies for the self-dramatising title, but this is my first ever blog post. I’m a hobbyist photographer living in Tunbridge Wells and for the ten years that I’ve been taking pictures, I have struggled with two things:

The first is my colour-blindness- for those who are interested in technicalities, I have protanopia which is a form of red green colourblindness. It means that I struggle most amusingly with clothing choices, but from the point of view of photography, I effectively have no idea whether the colours I use in my pictures are correct or not.

The picture below gives you a sense of what I see- this is a set of some of my pictures which I have converted using an online tool into colour blind versions. (By the way, you can click on any of the pictures on this page to get a larger version.) On the left we have my version, on the right what you see.

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I genuinely have no idea which is which.

As a photographer, this is clearly frustrating, but it has forced me over the years to take a number of different approaches- one is to go for extremes of colour like this colour infrared shot:

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More frequently it pushes me towards exploring the world in black and white:

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My friend Miles, kindly described my colour blindness as a gift when it comes to photography. I don’t know if I’d go that far- it makes me sound like Rainman, but I know what he means.

My second test is more something that most photographers face- making something of the familiar. Almost all of the pictures that I am most proud of are taken when I travel. I love arriving in a new location and rushing out capturing thousands of images before I move on. This one, for example was taken a couple of months ago in Bali:

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I am proud of pictures like that, but the photographic comedown is considerable. I know the area I live in, the Kent/Sussex borders in Tunbridge Wells is genuinely beautiful, but I often feel I know it too well to do it justice.

So this blog is intended to stir me into action. I have recently been taking my camera with me everywhere and most importantly returning to some favourite locations again and again. I will post some black and whites here and the occasional wrongheaded colour shot. I have no idea how often I’ll post and certainly imagine many of the posts will be more like galleries than full textual dissertations, but it should keep me motivated to take lots of shots.

Meanwhile if you are interested in seeing what I am competing with- my shots from around the world, you can look here:

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