by Paul McMullin Published 01/06/2007
What should you do?
If you need to rekindle your interest, the project might be selfevident - walkers, skiers, boat owners, cyclists, etc tend to visit places as part of their leisure, although to be truly personal 'work' you might wish to be alone rather than dragging a young family about with you. Charity work offers some scope and has a feelgood factor as well - fun runs, marathons, fêtes and so on all offer opportunities as does the creation of posters, leaflets and brochures for organisations (but only if you don't do it as part of your day-today work).
Chasing a qualification can also add an interest booster and will certainly sharpen up your technique.
Let's have none of it. I think it was Bambi Cantrell who said you should aim to take one photograph at every wedding just for yourself, and you should plan it and think about it beforehand - make it count, your client might love it as well, try something outrageous!
Inspiration pops up in all sorts of places. By pure coincidence, The Guardian newspaper recently published 14 of the greatest speeches of all time (Churchill's 'we shall fight them on the beaches'; Luther King's 'I have a dream', etc). What a magnificent project to take each speech and make a 14-image set to illustrate each!
The Albert Dock and the Capital of Culture
An essay such as this needs illustration. A series taken by member, Paul McMullin, makes a perfect candidate. This is personal work in the best of traditions, taken while McMullin was just starting out his career, working for one of the established photographic practises in Liverpool. He would spend his lunchtimes (and some weekends) inside the decaying Albert Dock, capturing the very faded grandeur of the place, which was in many ways just as the last of the dockers left it, but with its leaking roof, and an abundant carpet of ferns growing across the floors. Those leaving dockers could hardly know that one day it would be magnificently refurbished into swanky offices and apartments and that in 2008 it will become the centre of the Capital of Culture 08 celebrations, housing the Tate Liverpool. If ever a picture set was taken for personal reasons and suddenly its time had come, then this is it. It was shot on film, mono, colour negative and transparency, using a mix of a Sinar Norma, a Hasselblad C500 and a Mamiya 330 and was recently rescanned on a Flextight. Shot around 1978, the 44 images will be 30 years old in 2008.
There are 186 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 22nd January 2020