Saturday, August 28, 2010

Elvis has not left the building.

Its been a while since I've posted, but I haven't abandoned photography.  Pretty far from it actually, I just have been doing things related to my photography that aren't producing many pictures at the moment.  Yeah, I didn't think that made any sense either.   I slowed down a bit today and made this picture.  No, its not amazing, and in terms of my intentions it is a total failure.  But, it still is a picture-- and I need to make pictures.  If I stop, I cease to be a photographer.

I wanted to make a few frames at different focus and blend them together.  None of the lenses I have seem to keep the image the same size when changing close-focus.  I tried blending anyway, and it led to a whacky result.  So, I left that idea alone, and chose the frame where the front bits are in focus.  I'll borrow a real macro lens someday and try again.

So, what have I been doing?  Mostly I've been doing a lot of thinking and some reading.  I've been trying to figure out who I am as a photographer, and who I want to be.  I'm trying to identify the strengths I have that can help get me where I want to be, and the weaknesses that stand in the way. 

What have been thinking about?  What do I see in the world?  What do miss?  What is my reason for photographing?  What am I trying to say?  What is my voice?  What am I interested in enough to make a long term project out of?  Who can help me?  Who can I help?

What have been reading to help me?  I read David DuChemin's Within the Frame, and Chris Orwig's Visual Poetry.  I also read Adam Perry Lang's book Serious Barbecue.  What does that have to do with photography?  It has nothing (in general) and yet everything to do with (my) photography.  He is a guy that found his voice through barbecue, the way he writes about meat borders on a religious.  Listening to passionate people, tends to make you passionate.

I also decided I had to learn something new, which is why there is a harmonica at the top of this page.  My musical ineptness is only matched by my inability to dance, so I thought it was a perfect thing to try.  It takes me away from my creative comfort zone.  Has this taught me anything so far?  It taught me that I can have fun even if I suck.  I should make sure I take that same attitude with me behind the camera, it can only improve my pictures.  The harmonica is fun, with a little work you can play recognizable songs.  That is enough to keep me amused and my family annoyed.

So, no, I haven't left.  I'm just trying to figure out where I'm suppose to be.


dan said...

How did you like Within the Frame? Last night i stopped by Barnes and Noble looking for Visionmongers only to find that it was about $20 more than it is on amazon so i chose to hold out. When i got home i decided to check the local libraries website and found that the library in the neighboring town has Within the Frame so i plan on borrowing it from them soon. if i can just remember where i put my library card 15 years ago.

Ken said...

I really liked Within the Frame. I like duChemin's writing style, the photographs in the book are interesting-- they add to the text, and books message about balancing vision and craft is a good one. Visionmongers is also a wonderful book, I wrote my impressions of it here:

Its great your library has Within the Frame. I think I've checked out every photography book in the local library system over the years!

dan said...

Yeah i was pretty surprised to see it listed. Sadly the library has become this fantastic resource that i completely forgot existed over the years. I remember one time being at one of those RedBox movie rental things and saying to myself "I wish there were places i could rent books" and 10 seconds later being like, "oh....right...library..duh."