#316. SoFoBoMo

#316. SoFoBoMo

SoFoBoMo.

 

Never thought I’d be writing that again. It was done. Kaput. And now it isn’t.

 

SoFoBoMo – the Solo Photo Book Month – 31 days to shoot a minimum of 35 images and turn the whole project into a photo book.

 

I did my first SoFoBoMo in 2009 and enjoyed it so much that I made a second entry. The first was a photo walk shot in Langa, Cape Town’s century plus old township – a colourful, vital glimpse of African life.

 

Mother by day magosha (prostitute) by night

Mother by day magosha (prostitute) by night

 

It came together so well that I shot a second series of photographs on the Saturday morning before my chosen 31 day time window closed. Like the Langa book, Harmony Beach came together in hours. It featured the so-called pleasure resort of the same name, between Gordon’s Bay and Strand on the False Bay coast.

 

Ocean pool, Harmony Beach

Ocean pool, Harmony Beach

 

I’d never been there before, but had driven past countless times. The degree of vandalism, ruin and general neglect was shocking and so, what was intended as a light look at a community’s beach facilities, ended up being dark, moody and quite depressing.

 

Climbing frame, Harmony Beach

Climbing frame, Harmony Beach

 

Roundabout, Harmony Beach

Roundabout, Harmony Beach

 

In 2010, I tackled the FIFA World Cup, being held (in part) in Cape Town. Titled Gees (Afrikaans; pride, patriotism), I shot every picture in a long pre-game morning at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. The gees was powerful as you’ll see when you look through the book.

 

South African gees at work

South African gees at work

 

Gees

Gees

 

The mighty vuvuzela

The mighty vuvuzela

 

2011 and I managed two books again.The first was a collection of photographs of holiday homes, in the various False Bay coastal villages. Called Holiday Homes, I shot these images on a single day – mid-winter in the Cape is usually wet and dark – just the light and feeling I wanted in my images.

 

Holiday Homes

Holiday Homes

 

Electing a second 31 day period, Saving Steam was the result of a visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – a preservation project, dedicated to restoration and running of both steam and diesel traction between Whitby and Pickering in the UK. It’s interesting to note that the restoration of Bullied’s A4 Pacific no. 34101 “Hartland” – it’s cab and dismantled controls featured in so many of the photographs – is due for completion during 2015. I am always surprised to see the pieces come back together once more to re-form a 100 tonne giant of the past.

 

Cabside, 34101 Hartland

Cabside, 34101 Hartland

 

Motion

Motion

 

I added some images from the preservation movement elsewhere in the UK and the book was complete.

 

Station clock, NYMR

Station clock, NYMR

 

There were no prizes and almost no recognition for my efforts, but that didn’t matter. The publication of a book is quite an achievement. I really enjoyed it.

 

SoFoBoMo’s demise in 2012 left me feeling bit rudderless – the motivation and discipline needed to think up, develop and complete a project like a SoFoBoMo entry is a fantastic exercise on it’s own – and now it was gone.

 

That was until a chance trawl through some rarely visited Web sites uncovered the good news. SoFoBoMo is back and under new promoters. The book period for this year is 1 July to 31 August. I’ve re-registered already.

 

Now, to think up a topic…

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Philberphoto January 24, 2015

    Paul, I agree with you 100%. One sure way to improve one’s photography is to set oneself a goal. If one just wanders around, both is topic and in style, sure one can get great pictures. But just not as many, and not as great. I think this SOFOBOMO is a great idea. Except, of couse, when I go on a photographic trip, getting 35 images worth publishing is hardly a one-month exercise, as you yourself indicate.
    The real challenge would a SOFOBOMO really close to home, in areas that one has walked many, many times. How to escape the déjà vu, and have a fresh look…
    Oh, and you show cracking pictures, as ever. The mighty Vuvuzela is my favorite. What a shot!

    • Avatar
      paulperton January 24, 2015

      Thanks Philippe (again!). For me, the 31 pics aren’t difficult, nor is the book production as I’ve got all the tools and been using them for a long time. The important thing is the challenge of making the whole thing work. I’ve really missed the couple of years SoFoBoMo has been away.

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