Divided By The Lens

TajMahalTouristsAt the moment I’m going through my album of photos from India, scanning them for use as projections in the show. Back in 1996 I had a fairly rubbish Kodak automatic, a classic family holiday snap-happy camera. And I had no kind of training in, or knowledge of, photography. As a consequence, I took very few photos and still fewer are any good.

CalcuttaHairCutScanning them now is making me look at them again, trying to re-write the story of my feelings towards them. Here’s something I’ve noticed – I took very few pictures of people, either my fellow travellers or street portraits. I’m a fan of street photography, and I did try a few times, but felt very awkward approaching anyone for their permission to take a photo. I have shots where it looks like I was trying to steal a glimpse as I passed by, without having to be seen myself or get involved. Trying to hide behind the lens and stay separated from what I was looking at, which was often either strange, shocking or upsetting to me.

AgraStonemasonI suspect I lack the unflinching eye when it comes to photography, though I’d like to think I have it when it comes to poetry. I still can’t do decent street portraits. On my way back from visiting Arts Centre Washington, I saw a man at work in a pose that reminded me of this stonemason I snapped in Agra.

I tried to get a shot of this workman in the same pose, to compare on this blog – oh dear, epic fail! Not even going to insert the results, it was so bad. Should have followed this advice

If you’d like to book tickets to see the show at Washington (which is my opening night, be glad to have you there!) please follow this link.



About Kirsten Luckins

Poet and performer. North East Programme Co-ordinator for Apples and Snakes. First collection, The Trouble With Compassion, launched March 2016 and available from Burning Eye Books. First solo show, The Moon Cannot Be Stolen, voted second in Saboteur Awards 2014. Second show currently under construction. Poet-in-Residence at the Heroism & Heartbreak project, Hartlepool Community Archive, looking at WW1 maritime stories.
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