Play vb. 1. to occupy oneself in (a sport or diversion); amuse oneself in (a game). The Collins Dictionary of the English Language, second edition, 1986.

Play and experimentation can be the most creatively rewarding things we can do. As children, playing and finding out how things worked was fun as well as a learning process. As we grow up, play is no longer ‘cool’ and learning becomes formalised. As part of my 52 postcards project I want to experiment with different photographic techniques and equipment; ie have a bit of a play. Creating images in film rather than digital is on my ‘to do list’ for this project. I had plans to do this for week 15, but timings didn’t work out. However, at the end of last year I did have a play with a disposable black and white camera from Ilford. I eventually got round to getting the film processed and got the results last week.

This camera is as about as far removed from my digital cameras as it could be. Fixed focus, speed, aperture and ISO. I bought the camera on a whim while visiting the Photographers’ Gallery in London. The December light was not ideal for black and white, however, I spent some time wandering round making a few images. Most of them are unpublishable, but I like a couple of them. Yes, they’re grainy, softly focussed and dark, but I enjoyed the results of playing and getting back to a very basic form of photography. Simple, uncomplicated fun.

Trafalgar Square, London
Trafalgar Square, London, Christmas 2013
A dark afternoon in St James's Park
A dark afternoon in St James’s Park, London