Taking Flight

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I am not generally a spontaneous photographer. At least not in the sense of photos that happen in less than 5 seconds of seeing something. I do tend to be spontaneous in the sense that I wander with little direct and rely on intuition frequently. But when I do spot something I tend to be patient and take my time figuring it out before photographing it. Sometimes this takes less than a minute; sometimes it takes more than several minutes. Part of this is because of the cameras I use – the Hasselblad, Nikon or the pinholes – but a big part of it because I like the semi-meditative approach of finding something and then dwelling on it a minute before recording my thoughts/experience by way of an image.

Darkest Dreaming

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Stand together and let our art tell stories that last the ages. Now more than ever, hopefully we can find peace and a way to be effective in provoking positive human change. We as a global society will fall or stand together!

Ausschnitt, Excerpt, Extracto, Extrait, Estratto

I awoke today with a simple photographic task. Show a small excerpt of my morning during Lockdown. So I thought I would turn to the subjects I know I always can when in need of photographs.  I enjoy reminding myself that the expectations I have of what images I’ll make prior to picking up the camera versus what images I find once I start shooting can be two very different things. You never know exactly what you will find and often the best thing you can do is just let chance set you up for the rest.

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Stay Safe, Stay Strong. I will see you on the other side.

I Think

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I think a lot. Sometimes I think too much. This is the thought I generally have at about 1am when I am wrestling with busy brain syndrome and cannot fall asleep. Here are a couple of thoughts kicking around in my head at this nightly hour.

What one sentence would you pass on in the event of a cataclysm that contained the most information with the fewest words, what would I say? Or what image of mine would I single out?”

“Is creating art a response to our own knowledge of our mortality?”

“If time is a human construct, how would we abandoning it and how would that change the way we lived?”

“I wonder what the post will bring tomorrow.”

And the list goes on.

This is a very long-winded introduction to me saying that photography is where I try to think the least. I try not to put thought into my images but rather try to put my feelings or emotions into them. Put another way, I try to make images based on what I am feeling rather than what I am thinking. I don’t know if this is to give my brain a rest or to give me a rest from my brain. A bit of both I would guess.

For the most part this works really well for me. I have become good at disengaging from my thoughts while I am out photographing.  I don’t like listening to music while I photograph either because it affects how I feel, which then affects how I photograph. For me it is enough to be there in a moment responding to subtle currents within me that I will struggle with later to put a finger on.

In fact, this is where my problems usually arise: when I try to think about my photos after the fact and figure them out. Generally I don’t do this too much. The photos are not products of thought, but rather visual translations of moods or feelings passing through me in a particular place or at some particular time. Thought doesn’t typically enter into that equation and therefore makes for an awkward fit I have found when forcibly injected into it later.

Anyhow, even now I am applying more thought to this image than I should, but sometimes I find the thinking “out load” to be an effective means of getting it out of my head.

That and I do like doing the writing just for the practice.

So don’t fret if you cannot explain your photos, or if you worry about the perceived lack of thought in them. Some photos are meant to embody a great deal of thought, but not all images. It is ok to make images that cannot be so intellectually described or explained. It is ok to make images on hunches, feelings, intuition, or the like. And it is ok to not understand your own images after you have made them. In fact, I rather enjoy it at times – the mystery of it all.

So here you go. Hopefully nothing I said gets you to thinking too much and keeps you awake tonight.

A Notion Of Time

Time is a subject that fascinates me. It is a common theme, in some fashion, in much of my photography. As such, birthdays in particular are a day that reminds us of time. Many of us handle this reminder in various ways. Some dive in and celebrate the anniversary of their birth. Others want to avoid the attention and any thoughts regarding how this day marks the passing of our lives. Some don’t much care at all whether it is today or tomorrow. We all handle time differently but we all play by the same rules. That is what fascinates me: this notion of time we have.

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Somewhere I got old enough to realise that the future is not infinite for me, thus every day is a gift in that regard. This does add certain poignancy to each passing day and I sometimes wonder at the bliss of ignorance.