A PHOTOGRAPHIC SKETCHBOOK
A photographic sketchbook: A sketchbook of photos used as a reference for paintings and prints.

COLIN BAILEY
ARTIST & PRINTMAKER
PHOTOGRAPHY
A Photographic sketchbook
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Whilst I have used photography for many years and indeed used to teach it , I tend to see it as a mainly for capturing images as a source for my paintings or etchings. To this end I tend to grab the image with whatever I have at hand rather than get hung up on equipment or technique. This has left me boxes full of photographs and lately a groaning hard disc full of digital images which I edit and plunder mercilessly for source material. A photo sketchbook is a selection of some of the by-products of this approach.
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PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT USED FOR A PHOTOGRAPHIC SKETCHBOOK
I have over the years accumulated an array of cameras; As luck would have it my first was probably my favourite, A Nikon FM which I managed to buy with a tax rebate in my first year of art school in 1979. Since then I have owned an Nikon E and a Nikon FA and was all set to take the Nikon route into digital photography. It took me until 2004 to brave the digital step, a very tentative one with my first digital camera - a compact 4 mega pixel Olympus C-750 Ultrazoom. The purchase of a A3 scanner and Giclee printer in 2005 opened my eyes to the potential of digital images and I rapidly moved up to a Fuji finepix s9500.

Despite being a long time Nikon fan I bit the bullet and upgraded that to a Canon 350D and recently a Canon 450D. This and a Tamron 18-250mm zoom lens are the ideal combination for this type of sketchbook photography.

Photographic sketchbook: Groynes
The effect of weather and the sea on the fishing boats from the RX fishing fleet of Rye and Hastings. A abstract collection of textures and colours created by the forces of nature
Rocks and Stones
The effect of weather and the sea on the coastline of Rock-a-nore
The effect of weather and the sea on the fishing boats from the RX fishing fleet of Rye and Hastings. A abstract collection of textures and colours created by the forces of nature
With an hour to kill in nearby Battle one Sunday morning I was caught by the textures of erosion of the ancient wall of Battle Abbey and took these with my mobile phone wondering what stories these stones could tell.
Photographic sketchbook: Net huts Hastings
Digital Black and White
Whilst the development of digital cameras has made the processing and printing of colour photographs considerably less of a chore than it was in the days when I had my trusty Nikon FM It is still often more satisfying to shoot in Black and White.
Digital Glamour
These photographs were a light - hearted attempt to evoke the glamour of old movie star pin ups; the photographs I enjoyed as a schoolboy; the age of Marilyn Monroe, well thumbed books of fine art photography from the school library
Odds and Sods
These photographs were the result of a expedition around the multitude of Junk and antique shops in Hastings and feature some of the bizarre mannequins and dummies that seem to crop up with frightening regularity!
Being on the coast both Hastings and Rye don’t see snow that often and usually at the wrong time!
These photographs are the results of me being in both those places at different ends of the same year.
Hastings is the forgotten seaside resort of the South East Coast. The pier is burnt down, the transport links are abysmal and the weather is typically fickle, but Hastings has a rare vibrancy. The art and music scene flourishes as never before  with a festival almost every week.
Two Seagulls spend almost the whole morning squabbling over a whole plaice in the High Street in Hastings. Oblivious to the occasional passing car or people walking the two seagulls resolutely stuck to their guns and the battered fish changed ownership         
DIGITAL BLACK AND WHITE
Pram Race
Certainly one of the silliest and most colourful of the events held during old town week. Teams with bizarrely themed “prams” race round every pub in the old town and back to the start at The Cutter.
Hastings celebrates a bewildering array of festivals: The Jack in the Green,  Old Town Carnival week, the Seafood and Wine festival and of course the Bonfire procession which confusingly is held in October to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
PEOPLE AND EVENTS
Hastings celebrates a bewildering array of festivals: The Jack in the Green,  Old Town Carnival week, the Seafood and Wine festival and of course the Bonfire procession which confusingly is held in October to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. All are an opportunity to dress ups and generally act a bit silly!
Jack in the Green
The Jack-in-the-Green festival in Hastings is based on a tradition which started in the 1830s and was revived in 1979 by a group called Mad Jack's Morris Dancers. It is now an annual event which takes place during the bank holiday weekend at the start of May
ODDS AND SODS
I am not a photographer! This might be an odd statement with which to introduce a site called "a photo sketchbook" but despite having an varied array of cameras I very seldom set out to make a photograph. I use flash and external lighting out of neccesity rather than choice and prefer natural lighting whenever possible. Most of my photos come about through stumbling across an scene I find interesting, capturing it with whatever I have at hand and then selecting the frame I prefer, the prime concern being its usefulness it as the basis for a painting or etching. Often the result is nothing like I expected. I never set up or plan a photograph or have a preconceived picture of how it will come out. I like to see myself as a hunter gatherer of images rather than a farmer or cultivator.

Not so long ago this method was extremely wasteful - rolls upon rolls of film to get one or two useable images and then hour in the darkroom playing about with tonal variations until the paper ran out.The editing/selection of images is far more important to me than any manipulation of the image in the darkroom or PC; I only crop as a last resort.

Digital cameras, capacious memory cards and the improvement to zoom lenses have certainly made my life easier. I tend to use either the most verstile zoom lens I can get my hands on or a 50mm prime lens. Composition is my main goal and if it takes 100 frames to get something I like so be it. I try not to get too hung up about megapixels.

"I wish I had my camera..." With a reasonable camera phone it is now possible to always be ready for the unexpected and I have recently been using phone  photographs for paintings.

COASTAL TEXTURES
Textures and almost abstract details of  effects of the passage of time on objects, both man made and natural, Drawing on the ideas of fractal geometry and chaos theory these photographs explore the re-occurring shapes and forms that repeat through varying layers of magnification: the landscapes that can grow out of the tiniest splinter of rotten wood,fleck of peeling paint or surface of weathered stone.
PHOTOGRAPHY AS A MEANS RATHER THAN
AN END