Four times the fun!
Like many of us, Colin Lindsay first became aware of Blipfoto through the social media postings of a friend of his. Unlike many of us, he has four journals (that he "admits to") to his name!
He says that he has no particular grounding in photography, though visits to art galleries were a staple of his life growing up. In fact, he’s carried on that tradition and his first stop wherever he travels is always to visit a gallery. He guesses that by osmosis he’s picked up composition and perspective for photography there.
“I knew that photography was probably the easiest way to scratch an artistic itch,” says Colin, “and saw blip as a way of honing and refining my thoughts or ideas on what a photograph could/should be for me. I loved the idea of a photo a day, which I figured would take me on a journey -- without really knowing quite how it would pan out. I see a lot of people using blip as a way of crystalizing thoughts and ideas, whether about life, or photography or whatever. “
The journey starts
Colin’s first journal (MisterFT) shows a strong attraction to black and white lines --influenced by Bridget Riley's black and white works. It’s mostly reflections and urban scenes, but occasionally there is a colorful abstract thrown in. Through time, he’s become a fan of the shadow selfie. “The kids and my partner feature regularly,” he says “although my partner in particular bemoans that I find the setting more important than taking a decent photo of her. She's incidental (she thinks!) But secretly there's a fair amount of decent shots of her building up that she loves! But my family album is - er- unusual.”
Eighteen Months later
Cigs started about 18 months later. Colin had just changed jobs and was now out and about and wanted to find a way of recording his work life and what he found as he went about Edinburgh. “One March day,” he recalls, “I went past a bin on Iona Street which had Cigs emblazoned on the side of it - and a lightning bolt struck. I knew I saw these 'tags' everywhere and I could surely find one a day? So began one of the more ridiculous Blip themes. But it's probably what I'm best known for!” It led him all over town, to explore and unearth, and he was impressed with the way people responded and reported sightings. “I suppose,” he says, “that I was trying to find a way of photographing the wonderful city in which I live through more backstreet and underground views.”
He adds that he loves that, because of the randomness of the subject matter, when he found a tag and blipped it, it made him smile: “Every day. For over two years. To have something that so completely takes you from whatever you were doing for 2? 3? 5? minutes each day was amazing!”
TheThirdMan is a foil to the largely mono themed first two journals. Very often these images are colorful or experimental photos, largely self-indulgent. “Because initially nobody knew my other identities,” he adds “there was no expectation and I had the freedom to post whatever was nice. I think my aim was to take photographs that were visually almost repulsive but if you dug beneath the screaming colors and the eye-popping designs, you could see a well constructed photo.” He attributes his love of Lidl and other supermarket constructions to the birth of TheThirdMan journal.
Last but not least
Then came Billboard - largely inspired by Dennis Jorgensen who did a series of photos from the edges of advertising boards, where the left over corners and borders were layered and from these he created abstract photographs. So Colin took that as a starting point. And eventually industrial estates and the surrounds of building sites and brick walls and doors became staples of the journal as he developed the idea. His Billboard photos mostly are square or rectangular shapes or a pattern and somewhere there will be a diagonal,
Be you. Do your thing.
Colin’s biggest challenge is time: he takes plenty of photos but sifting, processing, and posting means he doesn’t always post an entry every day for every journal.
“But beyond that,” he says, “I love taking photos and have no end of themes and subject matter. My advice to blippers would be do your thing. As much as I love the photos of some other famed blippers, I couldn’t do what they do. Be you. Do your thing. Trust your instincts. Make your art. Not someone else’s. That being said, Blipfoto is great for cross pollination and easily seeing ideas and angles that are interesting.”
The humanity of Blipfoto.
When asked what keeps him in Blipfoto, Colin says he’s made some really good friends.
“And,” he adds, “I think - for me - it's the humanity. In a world where we cannot sit on the fence and differences are polarized by media and social media, Blipfoto provides me with access to individuals who are not tabloid-generated groups: they are people with families and jobs and interests, who go on holiday and explore and live and love and laugh and cry. I love that blip shows a more balanced view: unlike the vitriol of Twitter, the faux jollity of Facebook, blip celebrates life in all its forms and it’s life affirming to skim through journal entries and realize that there are many others who are not rabid cartoon caricatures that mass media would have us believe the world is made up of. Real people taking photos of their real lives. The spirit of blip cannot be underestimated: there is something intangible that makes it a homely corner of the internet. There's nowhere quite like it.”
Colin describes himself as 50, male, Scottish, tall, employee of the local authority,with a restlessness that drives him to paint, climb hills, ride bikes, cook and take his two boys (aged 10 and 7) or his partner on crazy ridiculous adventures and quests. Just a quiet living country lad, really.
Remarks compiled by Michele (aka Alsacienne)
Cover photo by Colin