Ever since I was given my first smartphone in 2004, a Nokia 6600, I’ve always made a point to take lots of photos. Some are mundane, accidental and otherwise uninteresting. Others document key moments in my life. Many of the photos go unpublished until the end of the year when I make a grid of photos.
Although I’ve nearly always owned or had access to good quality compact and SLR cameras, for me the immediacy afforded by having a camera in my pocket led to photos that were more spontaneous and better captured and represented my life as it was happening.
The quality of the photos was, at first, no rival for analog photography or even digital compact cameras, but, for me, the graininess and blurriness is what I was after. For me, getting good photos required better equipment, waiting for the perfect situation and sometimes using better equipment – i.e. larger cameras – which would take me out of the moment more.
As technology has evolved the quality of photos taken with smartphones has become indistinguishable from compact cameras, to the extent that compact cameras are being left at home. Increased storage space means I need not worry about how many photos I’m taking, but it does mean spending an increasing amount of time selecting and editing photos.
2014’s photo grid marks 10 years that I have been making them and also marks the end of this accidental project. I’ll still continue to take photos but now, like many people, the destination for them will probably be Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and whatever other social networks there are. Anyhow, here are all the collages in chronological order: