Lynn Roylance, who has a must see 1966 Saigon feature, loves to stimulate his creativity by limiting himself to geographical confinements. He was featured for his work around his house, now here is his work made “Within a mile” from his house.
1899 was a jumping off point for ‘within a mile’ where all photographs have been ands are acquired on dog walks, which are usually within a mile from where I live. I say acquired because I find more and more I respond instinctively to to where I am. Charlie, my dog and I walk twice a day. Before leaving the house, I pack a pipe and pick up a camera and head out. Charlie mainly chooses where he wants to go and I follow.
‘within a mile' started back in 2009. The full project will take some time to put together, I am seeing changes, parks, the landscape that have disappeared or have been altered. There are close to 4000 images that I am in the process of selecting for a book.
The process of acquiring images that I am becoming more used to is where I find the camera in my hand, finger on the shutter, maybe a quick glance at the LCD and the image is acquired, no thought, just this process over and over again. I often wonder who is in charge, me, the camera or… True there are times I choose the subject but more often than not this is the process.
The impulse to acquire an image, I think is determined by the changing light and environment throughout the year… seasons. How I feel or what I happen to see at a particular moment in time. A teacher once told me moment are all there are and this has stayed with me over the years.
Back home the images are ingested into Lightroom culled severely and then processed in Capture One. I find Capture One doe a better job of processing raw Fuji files or any raw files than Lightroom. Then the files are imported back into Lightroom for some final tweaks via presets, Tonality or Exposure.
Olivier [The editor] once asked “Do you see my images as subconscious self portraits or more objective documentary?”. My images are snapshots of my subconscious in that they are self portraits at a particular moment and how I responded. They are also documentary in subject matter, as I am seeing with ‘within a mile'.
I would like to think the viewer may feel/see both aspects in my images. Feeling come into play in the processing, I think. Visual words come much easier to me that written ones, so I hope this makes some sense to you and your readers. Photography is a great way to see what one sees and in that can become very introspective.
There are certainly days when I get up and just do not feel like taking a camera. But I learned a long time ago that it is often on those days a images is there begging to be acquired. As far as forcing myself to make images or letting them come, I let them come. There seems to be a partnership between my cameras, the available light, me and the images, that forcing violates.
The times I go, oh, thats it and go for the ‘right angle…' they seldom measure up. Allowing the flow of the moment with the attitude of the unexpected is an approach I embrace. I had a friend, an artist, that controlled everything in his work and his work was technically perfect, but lacked that something. So mindless is my approach…
So far ‘within a mile' has been shot with an Olympus, a Canon, Leica M8, Leica D-Lux 4, Ricoh GR, Fuji XT1 & iPhone. I really keep things simple, aperture, shutter, ISO and sometimes EV. Cameras now are so capable of producing good images, you can set them on auto. Post processing is where the magic happens.
This is where we as photographers we can develop our vision/style. But he range of software to post process is so great I think one can become over whelmed with choice. I Keep it simple now, I did not always.
Editor's notes: There's always the temptation that your photos are found “out there“, the subliminal message we try to infuse in our Photography magazine and by showcasing Lynn's work around the house and within a mile is that you don't need to look far for your images, they are probably standing right in front of you.
About the photographer
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If you like Lynn's work, get one of his wonderful photo books