Forgotten Postcards

Forgotten Postcards is a series of mono multiple-exposure photographs. The first four in the series represent my first ever experiments with using Adobe Photoshop to layer images together. Prior to this project, all the multiple-exposure images I created were made in-camera at the time that they were originally captured.

Over the last couple of years, as I've started using alternative and more 'creative' camera techniques, I've come to realise the irrelevancy of how an image is produced. I strongly believe that if a picture works artistically and is to some extent visually appealing, it really doesn't matter how the end result came together.

A 'straight' photograph can, of course, be fantastically beautiful, emotive and even powerful but I am increasingly finding that using some of these unconventional techniques can help to create a picture that also tells a story and I find this concept quite fascinating.

During a period of time where life had got in the way of photographic trips, I began to do something I usually shy away from - looking back at previously rejected photos. Initially, I did this for inspiration more than anything else. It turned out that I had a number of images that I'd forgotten about entirely. The feeling of disappointment I'd originally experienced when deciding that they were only fit for my 'runners up' folder came flooding back. I'd spent days and, in some cases, whole weekends out capturing these images only for them to be hidden away, not to be seen again. I'd liked these photographs, just not enough.

Having recently spent time admiring the work of a number of my favourite photographers and realising that I'd never tried some of the techniques they used, I decided that I had nothing to lose. These were, essentially, images that were all but deleted.

I started experimenting with layering two images together to see what the outcome was. In many cases, the result was truly dreadful - worse, by far, than the original images themselves. But slowly, a few developed that I liked. And as I became more familiar with the techniques, the better I got at using them. The four photographs in the series are my personal favourites of the experiments with these digital layering techniques. Working in this way has created images that tell mostly imaginary stories but ones which I hope evoke some sort of feeling or emotion.

The series title comes from two things. Firstly, these images had been not only digitally abandoned but had largely slipped from my memory. Secondly, whenever I am out with my camera and especially when I am further away from home, a particular thought often comes to me, a thought that I've found myself pondering if ever I am feeling overwhelmed or struggling creatively. I wonder to myself what single photograph I would take to best portray where I was - in essence, a postcard. As a further, slight nod to this idea, I decided to create each image in the exact aspect ratio of a standard postcard.

I feel that this may be my first 'open' photographic series; I might add to it in the future. I am sure I've got plenty of 'runners up' images in me yet!

View the series