As an inventor, Edison made one thousand unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail one thousand times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail one thousand times. The light bulb was an invention with one thousand steps.”
If ever there were a metaphor for me & how I have got to where I am, then this is it. I have gone through many different iterations to get to the point where I find myself and goodness knows my home shed/office/darkroom/studio/gallery has experienced more than a few of those.
I have never been afraid of failure or getting things wrong, to me its just part of the thing I do, a learning process, a route to the final step. Through many aspects of my life I have applied this philosophy both consciously and unconsciously and to date it has I must admit made perfect sense to me, though there were times I did question some of my more unusual decisions.
For the last four years I have struggled to find a voice, my own voice with which to tell the photo stories I need to and want to tell. For the most part I have made crappy decisions, changed my mind on a daily, if not hourly basis and fretted at the possibility that the photographic magic I once possessed just might have deserted me all together. I have tried out so may options and spent a pretty penny on each only to have a change of mind again and repeat the process without any progress. This daft approach had to change so I did exactly that and finally I seem to have reached a point where I can see through all the nonsense, most of which is my own, and I’ve discovered a very narrow path on which to walk through life and pursue my love of documentary photography.
It really doesn’t matter about all those failed attempts, what matters now is that I have a sound, simple and achievable process, predicated on the image & final story & not on the glorification of the technology which helped me to produce it.
Edisons’s Lightbulb is a small collection of images made since the start of 2019 all under the banner of “Home Town Stories," my new and permanent base for work. HTS is a collection of photographic stories of the people, culture and landscape of my home town of Newbury in Berkshire UK. They aren’t by any means the best of what I’m capable of, but they are a start, a point from which to go forward without any of the unnecessary shackles of modern photography weighing me down. These images will form part of an experiment to determine the best way for me to make books, prints and mount exhibitions in my own photo gallery. It is also a way for me to start concentrating on the importance of the photo story and make myself a calmer, quieter person again secondary to the images & the stories they tell.