Welcome and thank you for visiting my photography journal. In this section I try to explain the structure of the website, my progress as an amateur photographer and the philosophy underpinning this website.

Before I embark on this discussion, let me first offer a big thank you to my good friend Charlie Cai who built this website for me. I am fairly hopeless with the detail of modern technology (I come from a previous generation) and Charlie has been my saviour over a number of years – many thanks Charlie.

Most photography websites are the domains of professional photographers who wish to sell their services and photographs, and the structure of the websites reflects these objectives. My objectives are very different and hence the different look and feel to this website.

Before I get onto the objectives, let me explain the structure of the website. It is based on folders that capture my photos for a given period – it is not theme based, as is the case for most professional photographers (who seem to show far too many images – good and bad – of a given theme). From left to right in the gallery section, we move from the most recent folder to the oldest. If you press on an image in a folder it will enlarge. At the bottom of a folder page, if you go to the ‘Display Num’ tab, you can scroll through the pages within a folder. There are possibly too many photos and this is a weakness of this type of presentation – see later.

You will see in the early folders ‘classic’ photographs and recurring themes. I was born next to the sea and I am drawn to beach scenes and seascapes. I was brought up in an industrial town in the N.E. of England and heavy industry/machinery continue to fascinate me. And I have been fortunate to live on a farm in Yorkshire for the past 25 years - so, not surprisingly, I have come to appreciate the images on my doorstep. The small number of photographs you see on this Homepage are among my favourites but I have many and I hope you find some you like in the gallery section.

In the Next Steps and Next Steps 1 folders you will see the start of my experimentation with exposure and movement in photos – you will either love or hate it (I have had both responses in equal measure). The ‘A Mixed Bag’ folder is a mixture of usual photographs, intentional camera movement shots (ICM), multiple exposure (ME) mixed with ICM shots and a few pure ME pictures. These pure ME shots are the start of my experimentation with the approach taken by Valda Bailey who was kind enough to share a few of her photography tips with me. The photographs are a bit rough and ready but they show what can be achieved with this approach. The following folders are a mixture of this experimental photography and standard photography. In fact, I moved back towards standard photography in 2020 – something to do with the impact of the various lockdowns on my mental mood. I have realised in the spring of 2021 (still in lockdown) that I enjoy the experimentation as much as the photography and, going forward, this will be my main modus operandi. I should point out that most of the images are ‘within camera’ with little post image adjustment – I don’t enjoy fiddling around on computers and if the image is not good enough with a few basic tweaks, then it is not good enough.

Now let me give some background to my journey as an amateur photographer. I first became interested in photography in the mid 70’s when I was completing my undergraduate degree. This was the time of decent SLR film cameras coming in from Japan at acceptable (well, almost) prices - £150 ish, if my memory serves me well. This was quite a lot of money in those days (you could buy a new Mini for £750) but it was just achievable. So I bought an SLR and off I went taking photographs.

To those only used to digital photography, the previous world of film was very different and led to a different process. In a film world there a lot of issues that have disappeared in the digital world – but the latter has brought its own issues that I will discuss shortly. In the film world you were largely taking photographs in the ‘dark’ – you would take a picture not knowing if the exposure was entirely correct, the focus was what you wanted, the depth of field and framing were what you had in mind, etc. You would have to wait for the photo to be developed and that might be many weeks hence. In addition, you had little control over the development process and we can all remember the disappointment of receiving the package of 30 prints that did not live up to expectations. And this was part of the problem – you took a photograph with a set of expectations and across time these were partly forgotten/changed – hence the feedback loop was not ideal for an efficient learning process.

However, the film world had a couple of benefits that have been lost in the digital world. Film photography was expensive and this led to a degree of care in learning the craft – composition, perspective, exposure, focus, etc. It was difficult to achieve technically good pictures and it was an achievement to reach decent levels – i.e, a good technical photograph was to be prized. In addition, this was a world where photographic images were relatively rare. This allowed time to appreciate the images you came across. Time was spent trying to understand how and why the image had been taken – for me, the how was always more interesting, I wanted to understand the mechanics of this craft (and I still do).

In the early days of my photography I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time with an exceptional professional photographer. He showed me the basics of studio lighting, portraiture, technical photography and the darkroom. Given the limitations of the development process available to most amateur photographers, I, along with many others, built my own small darkroom – this gave the flexibility and control that so many of us desired.

Then the demands of a career and a family took over, and my photography became ever more sporadic. I kept reading about photography (somewhere I have the whole Time Life series on photography) and admiring the work of the well-known masters.

Then along came the digital revolution and changed the world of photography forever. We are still in the early stages of this revolution but it has stabilised sufficiently to comment on what it means for the keen amateur photographer. In the initial years of the revolution a lot of the cameras and software promised a lot and did not deliver – this is no longer the case. It is now possible to spend an okay amount of money and to take control of most aspects of the digital image – development into a final print still has its issues. It needs to be recognized, however, that no two screens (unless there are properly calibrated to industry standards) will show an image in an identical manner – what might appear bright and within a given colour range on my Mac will look completely different on most other machines/screens!

Once you have purchased the initial kit, the production of high quality digital images is effectively costless in a monetary sense. This has brought great benefits but not without some costs. The benefits are clear – you can try and experiment endlessly, and with a bit of structure this massively aids the learning process. Also the images can be shared across various sites and this can also enhance learning.

The costs are, however, not insignificant. We now live in a world soaked in images. Even on this relatively selective website there are a lot of images – too many to allow a sensible level of focus. We are also missing what truly good printing and presentation can add to a photograph. A good photograph, well printed, mounted and framed can be a true wonder when it can be seen in isolation on a wall – this is what we have lost. I have printed and framed a small number of the photographs on this site, and the experience of seeing them is entirely different.

Given the concerns I have just expressed, why I have put this website together? I have reached an age (now mid 60s) where I have the time to indulge my photography passion. To date I have been taking images and having them made up into photo books. But this seemed an inefficient way to log and share my photography – hence, the website. It is to be seen as a journal of an amateur photographer that I hope my family and friends enjoy – and in terms of enjoyment, I would just select a few images.

Before I finish I need to emphasise my philosophy as an amateur photographer. My daughter, Holly, has been trying to educate me in aspects of the philosophy of art and photography. While I have enjoyed reading the books I have been sent, my philosophy is rather simple. Photography is a wonderful complement to walking, it opens your eyes to what you are wandering through – and, if some of these images serve as prompts to memories and thoughts, then they have served their purpose. Experience has taught me that I add a folder of approximately 50 photographs once a year; this may speed up or slow down depending on my appetite for experimentation is a locked down world – hopefully this will ease before the end of 2021.

Thanks for reading and if you want to comment on the website or individual photographs, please email me at the address below.

Get in touch at kevinkeasey55@gmail.com