22.3.12

movin' on

If you come round here often, you may have noticed that lately I've not been sharing much of my photography. Actually, it's not lost on me either that many readers who enjoyed looking at my photos don't pop by anymore, since my blog evolved into a more diverse but still art-y one.
Sigh.
Allow me to explain.
Now, this photograph to date has had over 240 people fave it on flickr; 1,400+ have reblogged it on tumblr and I really have no idea how many other places it is now. And to be honest, I don't much care. **As a side note, I used to get in such a flap about being credited, but there are definitely more important things to worry about. Although the people who manipulate my photographs or add some crappy quote on top of them really annoy me. C'est la vie.**
So why has 'Grey's Anatomy' captured these imaginations? Much as I'd like to think otherwise, it's most likely because of the title. I had no idea when I named it that this was a popular US TV show. On the flipside, the vast majority of the people who have liked/re-blogged/pinned it have absolutely no idea of my 'meaning and intent'. {That's a phrase I have stolen from one of my former Breezies (thank you Graham) and it sums up perfectly what I am compelled for my photography to have. But I digress.}
So 'Grey's Anatomy' was one of a body of work I exhibited in 2010 and personal take on hands and feet; how they empower us, how incredibly complex they are and how we take them for granted. At no point did it have anything at all to do with a TV programme.
However, I am very proud of the photograph for several reasons: the context, the composition, the light and the soft blue/lilac tones. I am not proud of it because of it's popularity, that's neither here nor there. That makes me sound a little arrogant but I must remember not to get swept along by it and lose something important.
Authenticity.
I have taken some truly terrible photographs over the last three years. Pictures totally lacking in any sort of validity that I took purely because I knew they would be rewarded with that pink star on flickr over and over. As a result I have now pruned my flickr down severely, slinging out anything that lacks that authenticity. I have also made the decision that I will share on my blog film photography that I feel deserves to be shown. Equally, I have done much work I'm very proud of, that frequently goes under the radar and no-one really notices. But this type of work when it does get noticed by someone who really get's it, or is in someway moved or repulsed even by the image, that means so very, very much more to me.
I have been so focussed on that need to have meaning in my other forms of art, yet I sometimes allowed my photographs to be derivative and well, quite frankly meaningless. What a prat.
I love this photograph: it has a narrative, a quiet simplicity and is beautifully lit. But because it was untitled instead of being called 'House' or something, it never got noticed.
Daft innit? Or am I just taking myself too seriously? I do that.

12 comments :

  1. Authenticity - I feel you on that. That is one of the main reasons why I grabbed my film camera over a year ago. And thus, I had to start a new blog. And no, I don't think you taking yourself too seriously - you are bringing soul and truth to your work. And I, personally, love that.

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    1. I'm so relieved you agree with me! I think generally those of us who choose to shoot with film automatically think it up, perhaps a little too much at times, because we can't afford to be wasteful with film and need to really work out the value of the photograph even before we trip the shutter.

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  2. Frankly speaking I've started to be less and less concerned about how my good my photos are at times, frankly because I have no idea if they are good or not. Sometimes I'm just posting it in order to see how it's perceived by others. Very often the reaction is good, but I don't really know how or why...

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    1. Anna, whether your photos are good or bad is your choice; that's the whole point. Of course, it's good to get a positive reaction, like I said if someone is moved in some way by your image that feels so brilliant. But ultimately it is something you have to feel for yourself, make work YOU are proud of regardless. As an example, I love the blog http://grassdoe.blogspot.com Jonathan has the most beautifully curated film photography, but he doesn't invite comment at all because he has faith in the authenticity of his work.

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    2. Maybe that's why I've been holding back on many of my pictures, because of insecurity. Well I think I'm learning to let it go little by little, and posting things regardless of what others think.

      (I really like the Grassdoe blog btw)

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    3. It's really difficult….it's in our natures to want to please others I guess, and learning to let that go is exactly what I'm trying to do too!

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  3. I totally get where you are coming from in this post. Coincidentally, I'm on a similar journey myself, and have vowed to not create those images that I make purely with the thought that they'll be popular (or will sell well on Etsy, or whatever). It's a very shallow exercise, and not at all rewarding. It is a shame that the images we are most proud of are the ones that seem to get less attention, but as you so rightly say, that shouldn't really matter, as long as they are good and valid to us. :-)

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  4. Just to add, my doing this has coincided with my moving towards using film almost exclusively, instead of digital - I think you're right in that film lends itself naturally to having more purpose in taking the photographs, rather than just snapping away and seeing what you can do with it in the computer afterwards, which is what tends to happen with digital (at least with me).

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  5. I love it when someone refuses to negotiate what some people might call their "vision". A lot of the time it leads to really interesting results and it's like an automatic stopper for making those images that anyone could have made(which -in my experience- tend to be the same images that get pink starred a lot).

    I'd love to see you showing us pictures that you feel really deserve their space on this blog.

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  6. at times a meander off the track is needed:
    you can't validate everything but it will be part of a journey or tangent for later processes:
    how it slots in or is given provenance is personal:
    that's what is important ❤

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  7. You're not taking yourself too seriously, and I totally get what you're saying. I despair sometimes at the level of superficial engagement with images (and words) on tumblr, pinterest, etc. I prefer to find out the narratives behind imagery.

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  8. Deb, Saranna, Dee……it's so difficult to not have our judgment clouded at the best of times, and that makes the task of evaluating our own work's worth at times impossible.
    http://www.the-square-peg.com/2011/07/love-it-hate-it-love-it-hate-it.html
    Hila, yes those are two of the many timewasters I've chosen not to ride anymore.

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