Tom Woods, and the spirit of photography

“I think of a photograph as a receiver of sensation.  Sensations are tangible and I try to  organize them through the act of photography” Tom Woods.

I saw the exhibition of Tom Woods at the Photographers gallery in London and I was simply taken by the spirit that encompasses his photographs.  There is a clear fascination and involvement with the medium of photography itself; channelling the emotions of a given moment.  I find it refreshing and beautiful.  Tom Woods’ words accompanying the exhibition in which he describes photography as a transmitter of a sensation have stayed with me, even more so as I have encountered them when I was to embark on a small project, part of our MA programme and experimentation, set out by Peter Fraser. The project asked that I was to close my eyes for 20 minutes in preferably unfamiliar place, and once the 20 minutes were over, I was to start taking pictures immediately.

The results have been wonderful for most of us, comparing this way of taking pictures as an ascetic and transcendental experience. The experience for me has been interesting; I have felt driven, transported in my picture taking. I would say that the resulting pictures look different, as the subject and the way I photographed it has been looser, less technically conscious, but more spirited somehow. Thus, the words of Tom Woods feel so appropriate in this discourse in that the photograph is a receiver of sensations.

What I have learned from this experience? I have enjoyed the freedom of taking pictures, without preconceived ideas on the subject,  technicalities, or aesthetic concerns. The exercise reinforced sensations and spontaneity in taking pictures, and it has been a valuable experience as it reinforces and makes you explore elements of beauty, feelings and transcendental in photography.

Here are some of the pictures that I took, one early morning in London after having my eyes closed for 20 minutes:


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