What will you be remembered for? Photographically speaking I’m suggesting here, once you arrive at the inevitable destination. I know that many think they’re going to live forever, I’m fairly certain though that none of us are getting out of here alive! One of the most difficult aspects of photography is curating your own work, without doubt. We know that any kind of curation is extremely subjective, if you’re selecting your own work it’s practically impossible to be objective. If I put to one side the whole ‘after I’m gone ‘ conundrum it’s still a regular problem for me.
There’s a connection to every shot, it’s an indelible link to each shutter release; The mood I was in, my feelings towards the subject matter, the memory created, above all the photographic process of taking a shot. That might suggest I’m in love with my work, whatever the antithesis of that is then that’ll be me I can assure you. In the past I’ve tried sitting on images, leaving them to mature and therefore over time becoming less attached to them. That is the perceived wisdom with regards self curation, you should be able to look at them more objectively after time passes. Contrary to that I’m more likely to dislike the shot as time goes by. Dislike may be a little too strong a word, essentially they no longer excite me. Perhaps I do begin to look objectively and that’s when I realise they’re not as good as I thought, once the emotional attachment has been stripped away.
Incidentally, everything shown on this post is all new, taken in the last week. So, either new or now is good for me, sitting on them is bad. This is why I post on this blog as soon as I have something very recently taken to show or I upload to Instagram mostly shots that were made just a couple of days previously. The alternative is to post or upload nothing whatsoever and by that I mean anywhere.
Because I began to consider what photographs I’d be remembered for or represented my style of photography I looked through my archive a while ago, failing to find anything I liked enough to do something with. I’m not talking about being remembered by the worldwide photographic community, nothing as grand as that, more my family and friends…“Oh, you like photography, well let me show you the kind of photos your great grandfather took…”
I want to produce a book, print off a few copies. It’ll include some family stuff, portraits, country walks, holidays, that kind of thing and then it’ll be made up mostly with my Street Photography. The trouble, as we’re discussing here, is selecting the content. It won’t be anything I think others may appreciate, it’ll be purely my own favourites, no consideration to what the viewer might think. So with this future project in mind I’ve opened a new folder and so far I can announce that it’s completely empty, perhaps I should print that! It doesn't even have a title, like, “Now I Am Dead” or “A Dead Photographer’s Society” or “42”, it’s currently called “New Folder”, maybe that’s what I’ll name this book. Actually as I type it’s a pretty good title.
I know of photographers who tell me that they agonise on whether to post something or not on Social Media or online photography platforms. My answer is always post it if you like it, of course for me it has to be something I took the day before. I know why they’re deliberating, it’s because they’re concerned about what others think or how they’ll be perceived. If you’re taking photos because you want approval from others then you’ll never make anything you like. Hang on…I’m possibly looking at this in totally the wrong way?
Should we be making images for others? Is it the viewers opinion that really matters? After all they’re the ones that have to look at your images, we as photographers simply capture and present them. What we think of our own work is of no consequence. Maybe we should be dialing up our output, showing more of our work. Currently I try to dial it down so as to avoid diluting quality. It’s a Can of Worms that I’m going to very carefully put the lid back on, but I’d be fascinated to hear the views from other photographers on how they approach self curation.
There you have it, no conclusion made, but a lot to think about. That appears to be the theme on this blog!
Finally: I know for sure that this last week was enjoyable for me. One in which I got to shoot some Street Photography in Bath, Bristol and even Avebury (the shot of the traveller). I also took a quick trip on the bike to the coast and Weston Super Mare at the end of the week, where I found what was for all intents and purposes a ghost town. Tricky to find anything or anyone to photograph, forget curation it’s back to the really hard stuff…Street Photography. Here’s a couple of shots, followed by another of some people ‘walking on water’ to finish with.
As always my sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read this blog.
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M with Summicron 35mm Lens fitted.
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