Do we take enough of them ? Too many? Not enough?
I take risks in most of my photography, I get bored easily, I get tired of looking at the same old images over and over again, whether they are made by me or someone else. I’d rather do something I have never done before, and explore what’s there, than sit still and keep making the same images.
In the “commercial” world that is what photographers do, they sell trust and when an artist is picked up by a gallery it’s the same sort of thing. Someone may like a certain style or look and the artist might be expected to keep making images that look like that.
I made a handful of images recently and they really aren’t like things I’ve done before. For years I have been photographing the built environment, cataloging buildings and places before they are torn down and remodeled or changed beyond recognition.
The drive in is vanished, this and memories are the only thing left of it. We used to sneak in the hole in the fence when we were kids, there were milkweed pods everywhere, something we’d never seen before, and there was a cut out of a guy that we always thought was a security guard, but it was cardboard and he was asking if people in the snack bar wanted popcorn.
This shanty is still just like it was years ago, nothing ever seems to change in some areas. There are stories that surround this place but they are just stories.
I’ve taken a sharp turn the past few years and stopped using a camera for the most part, except to reproduce images that I make because they might not exist otherwise.
The last few images I’ve made look like this
It is a mixture of silver emulsion and cyanotype chemistry I work with. It is old and new, it is ripped in half and glued back together in photoshop ( it was too big for my light bank ) and looked just like this when I photographed it with my phone. It is a beautiful shade of grayish blue and it is not flat.
Paper and light and chemistry that changes in the light is what photography is. This image is similar to the previous post. It’s cyanotype and silver chemistry. It has a crease in the middle because it is a page of a book that may or may not exist.
Making things is all about risk, it’s about committing to something and following through. The internet makes it easy to share with friends and strangers which can be enlightening and terrifying. Take risks with your photographs, it might lead to a place you never thought you would be able to find. Stumble, waste film and paper and time, open your eyes, share what you do, and enjoy yourself, and it won’t be a waste. Most of all, don’t let the naysayers, negative people who thrive on being jerks get you down. They are probably like that because they are afraid to take risks in anything they do, an wish they could.