‘What do you mean, funny? Funny peculiar or funny ha-ha?
Ian Hay, The housemaster, 1936
I wonder whether we make our photography too stressful; lugging half a ton of kit up a mountain, agonising about our choice of cameras, lenses, filters and other gizmos we need to pack, wrestling with the three-legged octopus and – above all, waiting for that magic light or decisive moment that rarely chooses to oblige. In our quest for the sublime, it is easy to forget that most of us were inducted into our passion for the sheer fun and pleasure it gave us. Do we risk taking our passion all too seriously?
I am a devotee of that old chestnut that ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’. I never go anywhere without one. Each day musicians do so, practicing their skills and muscle memory. Snappers, too, should regularly exercise their eye developing the skill to fill the viewfinder with the World that we see about us.
Among the countless files, I’ve lost track of on my computer are a few that I made just for the fun of it, recording the odd moments that caught my eye on my travels. I like nothing better than mooching around keeping my eyes open (‘like a lizard looking for bugs’, hissed a man to me in Washington Square NYC) watching out for the oddities of life passing unnoticed as we drift along on life’s sweet stream. Most of these pictures were but scratchings in my photo sketchbook. They were never meant to be taken seriously, entered into competitions, Salons or exhibitions. I didn’t set out to make a chronicle, only to exercise my camera eye.
As time passed, I started to see a few themes and connexions. I made my first book and am well on my way to a second. If you give an infinite number of typewriters to an infinite number of monkeys for an infinity of time, they will give you the works of Shakespeare. Monty’s first book can be viewed HERE.
This is my contribution . . . (click on an image and then navigate left or right)
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Monty Trent is an old man in a hurry. He went into semi-retirement after 42-year legal career and now spends his time avoiding exercise and enjoying his passion, photography. He lives in Yorkshire, UK spending as much of his time as he can enjoying the landscape and drinking Black Sheep beer.