what are you trying to say?

 

 

 

So many of my pictures of late have been about the surface of things.  Yes it is fall and leaves are resting on the water, apples have dropped to the ground..but I realized today they are not really about that.   these pictures are about shallowness and my desire to dig deeper.  Social media is filled with pretty photos of nature, yummy food, exotic travel destinations and alluring selfies.  I want to make pictures that have something more to say, and that’s hard.

 

I have watched this Cig Harvey lecture over and over again.  Some thoughts I’ve come away with –

 

  • landscapes- can be a mirror of what’s going on inside of you
  •  use symbols and metaphors
  • dig deeper
  • cameras are just expensive pencils
  • speak through your photography
  • photography/art asks the questions
  • what do you have to say?
  • Art doesn’t have to be good or bad, it just has to be felt
  • make pictures ABOUT something rather than OF something

 

Taking the time to step back and really look at my work has been a revealing exercise.  Although I will still stop and take a picture of a pretty flower or that red leaf shining in the grass, my thought process is changing.

 

I think maybe I have found a starting point, that tip of the iceberg.

 

“You are only this moment, the length of a photograph”

~ Cig Harvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

there are times..

 

 

 

 

 

 

it’s good to trust that voice inside your head

but only if it’s your own

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

threshold

 

 

 

 

 

“Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.”

~ Rebecca Solnit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in the mood

 

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“People say ‘Hofmann has different styles’. I have not. I have different moods; I am not two days the same man.”   ~ Hans Hofmann

I was planning to post this earlier but I was fighting a cold that left me with very little motivation. Thankfully it has since gone away and I’m finally getting some energy back.

Before the holidays, I was going through some of my photos when I began to see a pattern. Seems my mood has a lot to do with what I photograph, how I photograph and how I choose to edit an image. With all the violence and chaos in the world, I found myself seeking subjects that portrayed a softer, quieter and more subtle side of life.  Once the holidays arrived (and I stopped watching the news), my photos took on a whole different look and feel.

This little revelation had me wondering if anyone else experienced that with their own work. So I put the question out to my photographer friends on Facebook and a very interesting discussion ensued.  When photographing for yourself (disregarding client work, of course) does your mood affect your photography in any way?

Many people felt that it did in all aspects, some just in the editing phase.  Others said that just the opportunity to pick up their camera and get out to shoot immediately improved their mood and therefore they were always in a happy mood when photographing.

One friend described a process he goes through prior to shooting,  Before I shoot, I sit down and I go deep down myself, into a place where I am in touch with all my feelings. If I cannot feel an image that I am about to shoot, I believe no one will.”  How interesting!

But then there’s a whole other philosophy out there that was brought to my attention by a photographer friend from Amsterdam.  He sent me this interesting article written by Garry Winograd –  10 Things Garry Winograd Can Teach You

“In my opinion it’s about an attitude towards photography. Winogrand wants to get rid of any kind of private mood in the result (the picture). That’s why he waited so long to develop his films and see his contact sheets. So you can say, he was truly aware about that mood. I like that attitude. In other words: In a photo, I don’t want to see you love your cat, I want to see the cat.”

Thought provoking for sure.

 

So tell me, what are your thoughts?  Would be interesting to hear from artists who work in other genres as well.

“… yes I speak a different language – the dark fire of poetry – it flutters and gutters in tune with the mood.”   ~ John Geddes

“I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I’m not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does.”  ~ David Bowie

 

To thank all my photo friends who took part in this little chat, I am going to be adding links to their various websites and portfolios on my posts during the month of February (sharing the love!) To list them all at once would be a bit overwhelming.

Hope you will pay them a visit. Enjoy!

Staci Lee Kennelly – A Life Developing

Lisa Epp – A Year of Days

Elizabeth Thomas – Photography of Cape Cod