‘Poetry in the camera’s light’ – what’s behind the book?

‘Poetry in the camera’s light’ makes use of photography working in conjunction with poetry, and presents each piece as if the reader is experiencing artworks in a gallery.

It takes advantage of the Apple Books medium, and although each poem and photograph occupies just one page, it portrays large works which the reader is drawn in to zoom and pan around to read the poetry and experience the photographs alongside the words.

Pages with works consisting of poetry and a photograph are followed by a pure photograph page which works in conjunction with the preceding work, and gives room to breathe.

Taking the first photography piece in the book, if the reader zooms in for closer inspection, the frame disappears beyond the edge of the screen, and there can be a sense of stepping in to the photograph and suddenly being at the location rather than viewing a framed work. Looking past the solitary pair of trees, the path leads you to the horizon and a small solitary cloud in the distance, evoking the scene and leading the reader toward the small details that can be found throughout the book by engaging closely with the works.

Just as with pure text based poetry, there is no mathematical approach that can quantify or understand each piece or the collection of works, and the approach to shaping each combined work and the overall book flowed and took shape in exactly the same way as it can when writing a single poem.

‘Poetry’ itself refuses to have a fixed, unaltering definition, and the author invites the reader to experience the images as well as text and the overall arrangements of works as being an intrinsic part of the poetry.

The book uses neutral grey backgrounds and simple clear representations of frames to avoid drawing the reader away from the works, and instead to let each work emit it’s own light, the ‘camera’s light’, to draw the reader into it’s world.

One driving force behind the book was a desire to create something valuable and good in this world, something for people to enjoy, and to help remember how wonderful the world can be, especially in a time where there is a risk of being overwhelmed by negative events in the world and forgetting all the good to appreciate, and the possibilities and hope in life.

The book is a very personal expression which I hope to share with the readers, and connect with their experience and hopes for the future.

The poems cover a variety of themes and moods, including reflective pieces on WW2, which also ties in to hope for the future and a fairer world, in which light it is also connected with and contemporary to our times.

The main body of the poetry was written during 2018 to 2020, and I took the photographs between 2005 through to 2022.

Photography itself is a process, from selecting and capturing a subject or scene and its mood through to working with the image to shape it into the final work, and a lot of work was done with each photograph to make it become a part of each work and the overall book, in a process that sometimes felt more like a combination of painting and writing poetry.

I very much hope people enjoy the book, become enveloped in its moods and become a part of it by bringing themselves to it to develop their overall experience.

Another driver I think for the book was my mum’s advice to make the most of every day (carpe diem) in a letter she wrote and I read following her dying from glioblastoma – brain cancer. I have always wanted to write a book, and also I don’t experience grief in the same way most people do, so I think the book is both achieving my ambition, and channeling this sense of appreciating life and every day by focusing my energy on producing something positive and achieving my dreams.

I set myself a goal a few years back to become a writer, to use my creativity, and to be able to move and inspire people, and that goal remains relevant to me and the book is an expression of that.

A book is a shared experience between it’s author and readers, as also alluded to in one of the early poems in the book, and I hope readers share and enjoy the experience of the book.

The book is available for preorder at https://books.apple.com/gb/book/poetry-in-the-cameras-light/id6444978466?ls=1

Wishing all readers of this post a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2023,

Nick.

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