September 17 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
An east Norfolk man has captured a year of his life through a lens – using just the camera on his mobile phone.
Ian Spry was spurred into snapping 365 consecutive daily shots after discovering an online photo blogging site and armed only with his iPhone, he took up the year-long challenge.
Despite admitting he was not really a keen photographer, he has built up a portfolio of inspiring landscapes, stirring black and white scenes and interesting angles – and has a stream of followers subscribing to his blog on website Blipfoto.
Mr Spry, from Belton, said: “I only started [taking pictures] about 18 months ago and that was more or less because we had a dog and I was going out and about seeing things. Then I was made redundant, so I had a bit of time and the dog got walked a lot more.
“I had an iPhone and do like the local area, so I started taking some pictures.
“A friend suggested, after seeing some of my pictures on Facebook, Blipfoto and thought it might be a good outlet for me, and that’s how it started.”
The 49 year old, who now works as a shipping clerk, never thought he would complete the full 365 days, but said the project became a way of recording the area around him.
A lot of his pictures – or blips – concentrated on scenes and landscapes as he steered away from a “diary” style blog, but said he was keen to catch alternative angles.
He added: “When I went down to the beach, instead of a beach scene I’d do a close up of the algae and seaweed. I think it’s quite an eclectic journey I have created.
“I have enjoyed what I have got back and I like the little community on there.
“Everyone’s been quite supportive, even when I’ve struggled and blipped the unusual and not the exotic.”
Throughout the year he captured Norfolk and Suffolk scenes, including Cromer’s famous pier, which he cited as one of his favourite shots. He has also encountered the region’s rich wildlife.
A particularly memorable shot was an unexpected close encounter with a seal on Gorleston beach.
“My girlfriend went and had her haircut and I took the dog on the beach,” he said.
“We went over one of the groynes and there was a seal just sitting there. It came as quite a nice surprise.
“That’s sometimes the nicest sort of blip. On that occasion it just fell into place.”
Having finished his year behind the lens, Mr Spry has now been firmly bitten by the photography bug and is continuing to take regular pictures with his phone, and recommended the 365-day challenge to anyone.
“My view of the environment has certainly changed since I joined,” he added.
“I look at everything, no matter how trivial, and I constantly look for a different angle on the mundane.
“It also makes me want to be out constantly, hoping to find a great blip.”
Have you taken on a year-long project? Email firstname.lastname@example.org