Lecture with Paul Hill

Today I joined a year two lecture with Professor Paul Hill as part of my extra curricular activities. I found the lecture to be inspiring due to an insight into his work and life experiences as a professional photographer. The lecture stated the following information.

  • Obscene amounts of photographs being produced today.
  • Unique piece of ammunition which is ourselves.
  • It is the approach we take that is important.
  • How much influence is being exercised on photographic practice by people putting photography into particular pigeon holes/ categories.
  • Photography is about what you are trying to say when you are pointing the camera at information that then should be transcended.
  • Photographs should have meaning and give you the obvious.
  • Think of what is different.
  • Lots of photographers that make versions of different images. When they have their break through they create a signature of style by creating versions of others photographs.
  • Paul tends not to have a strategy. Thinking to himself; where am I at the moment? Both geographically and photographically? Emotionally? Finding that the camera leads him to reflect those things at those particular times.
  • Discussed his wife’s death, the emotions that he dealt with and how this effected his photography.
  • Friend, Maria Falconer also went back to making photographs after a devastating life experience by using the emotions that she felt when being creative.
  • Photography is like zen, it becomes second nature with the more you do and relax into it. Suggested reading, Zen in the Art of Archery.
  • Helpful to free the mind of photographic influences as this can have an effect on our confidence as a photographer.
  • Photography is the easiest thing to imitate, most of the time its easy to copy master photographs but where are you in that?
  • Take pictures, feel relaxed, float if you like. What ever your personality trait’s are, react to them rather than try to be something that maybe your not, then your photographs will come. These then become artefact’s that you then look at and make sense of.
  • It is important to remember that your photographs are your greatest teachers, you will learn from the pictures that you make.
  • Paul has always felt that there is some sort of agency operating through his eyes that is making particular pictures.
  • Be curious and find out as much as possible.
  • Continuous landscape’s, dislocation taking place within his life via the photographs after his wife’s death.
  • We are all going to have life experiences as a photographer of something that deeply affects your life.
  • Went through some of Paul’s work discussing his influences and inspirations for creating his work, including techniques and experiments.
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