I have been wanting to apply for my fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society for a long time. This is the highest level of distinction awarded by the society to its members, and requires a number of criteria to be fulfilled.
These include .....
Over the years I have had a number of projects where I have thought
'at last...... this could be my fellowship project'........!
All I need are 20 images on this topic or that; whether it be multiple exposures of trees, long exposures of water, black and white images of seaweed, or altered images of beach litter and plastics.
The topic has to be important to me, and the quality of the images needs to be cohesive and exceptional.
So I get started on a project, and collect maybe 16 or 17 good images, and then eject some because they don't fit well with the others, and then others because they are not quite perfect, and then I get tired of that project and find myself putting it aside and moving on to something new.
This has been going on for some 8 or so years now, and I wonder why I still want to make the grade. It is something do do with wishing to achieve the same standard as those whose photography I admire. Not necessary, but it would be a good feeling. And I do like a goal. Part of me is afraid that I will fail, and is avoiding the feelings associated with that.
Then along came 'fellowship by book', another way of presenting my work rather than as prints or digital images, and I told myself that I need to do it this way, as making books is my thing, and if I can't get FRPS by making a book, then I might as well give up now.
Some more time went by, and I made books with 16 or 17 images to fit the words that I had chosen to accompany the photographs. Findings and Forest. And a concertina book 'Under a Cold North Sky' of snow and ice with 15 images.
Each time I didn't quite manage to meet the criteria. I made the books because I had something to say; not for the FRPS but because they were what really mattered at the time.
So now, this year, I have decided to take a different approach.
I have paid a not inconsiderable sum to submit for the FRPS this October, as a driver to make a book that does meet the criteria. A cunning plan to make me get on with it......
Except I can't decide what the book should be about. or what it should look like.
I have thought of making it about water, as that is my favourite subject.
I even wrote a poem to get me started., but I found it contrived and corny.
I don't have something important enough to say about 'I love being beside water'.
So I came up with a plan to write a book about why I take photographs, and why I take many fewer than I used to. A sort of confessional about my photographic journey. Autobiographical even. A journey that started after breast cancer and a need to find a way to express how good it felt to be alive.
i have written some words, and rewritten them and refined them. They don't feel right yet, and time is passing, but I am working on it.
Slowly but surely.
I have tried some images in my publishing software, and am a long way from deciding what format the book will take.
This book needs to be special. It needs to tell a good story. And most of all it needs to come from my heart.
And in case you are worried, I can always defer until 2024 if I am not ready, but at least I have a plan.
Caroline Fraser - an ordinary life
on life, suburban living, art, creativity, photography, book art and travel.
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Welcome to Caroline Fraser Photography
Colourful abstracted and traditional photographic landscapes, book art and workshops. Capturing the moods and beauty of nature whether in wild open places or in small sanctuaries in suburbia.