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12 photos on a theme!

During the particularly cold spell of weather last week I didn’t get out and about with my camera as much as usual. I set myself the task of organising my photos on my computer by placing them together according to some sort of theme. This led me to recall a photography project I read about which asks us to pick a theme, look back through our photos and put together any that loosely fall under the theme, then pick twelve of those photos to display or print. I chose ‘modes of transport’ as my first theme and I found at least fifty photographs which fitted the theme. Selecting just twelve images wasn’t easy but this type of project provides a good opportunity to look through a photo collection, make some decisions on what to discard or include and be a critic of our own work. My task was to pick out those shots that in some way stood out from the rest, photographs whose inclusion in the final twelve I could justify. For this theme I went with photographs that were already in my collection. Some were fairly new, some were older photos from the days before I discovered Lightroom, which were now given a little TLC! Some of the shots were taken with a phone camera and the images may appear to be a little grainy. The location in which they were taken was the reason they called me to include them!

Modes of Transport

For the second part of the project I chose to take twelve photos connected by the theme ‘materials’. In both parts of the task I allowed myself to interpret the theme in any way I wished provided I could justify the inclusion of the images. In some cases the shots were just part of the subject, in others the image filled the screen. Under the ‘materials’ theme I tried to get as many different materials, including mixed materials, as I could. While doing the project I decided to break the second theme into two sets. The first set comprises of images of man-made materials, while images of natural materials make up the second set.


I enjoyed this project because it forced me to do something which I hadn’t previously done - reflect on my own images to see which ones resonated with me and choose some of them for display. By doing this I feel I was able to enhance my own observational process as I looked at how each image spoke to me, and I feel that this is an important part of developing an authentic voice in photography.

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”

Ansel Adams (1902 — 1984), photographer and environmentalist.


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