Tuesday, 11 October 2011

how to keep motivated in a long term project

Matthew Rolston
Long term projects are rewarding and provide the opportunity to learn not only about photography and your own practice but also the subject or subject matter depending on your project.  I am still working on the ghost signs which is a positive thing as a lot of work has gone into recording them and this is a good reason for doing it. The question now becomes is it a good enough reason on its own? I am acutely aware that the best results are achieved by sticking with something even when you doubt yourself. It is easy to start something and not finish it, any fool can do this. It takes determination and character to stick with something when the negative chatter between the ears gets to loud. The work has evolved into a history project and I am now blessed with knowledge about the bravest of graphic designers which is what sign painters whose work I am photographing were. Not only did they often have to design the logo for the smaller retailers but had to work out the spacing and typeface. This would not have been easy a hundred years ago without the aide of modern scaffolding and ready mixed paint.

Nicholas Brewer
This picture only shows half of the sign that I was hoping to capture and I was slightly disappointed that I could not see more from my vantage point on the balcony of a shopping centre. Nothing is ever wasted when you take your camera out. What this picture did give me is another ghost sign that I might have missed. If you look at the image about half way across you will see the number 2  at the bottom and again near the window ledge on the other side going left to right.

Nicholas Brewer
The latest photograph was taken from a window in the building of the picture above. You can work out my position from comparing the two.  Gibberd's Boots is one of my best ghost sign pictures so far but you can see that I persevered and kept hunting for the best spot to shoot my prey. Cold calling was required. I had to phone the office manager of the building that had the exact spot and explain what I needed to do. My experience is that if you have a pleasant way about you and are honest people will normally help you. This is also true for getting access to the balcony for the first image. Of course I did not have any money to pay them and I therefore only had about 10 minutes. I often spend a long time photographing each one, occasionally  photographing the same one at different times of the day, season and lighting to get the right picture. There were no such luxuries on Gibberd's Boots.
The Matthew Rolston picture is included along with a link to his website for no other reason that I love his work and wanted to share it with you.

Thank you for reading and happy hunting.

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