Eklingi 2: plus a great deal of rambling!
I feel as though I’m losing my way a bit with my photography and perhaps it’s time for some changes, before I lose my enthusiasm altogether?
Recently I put some images into a photobook and perhaps that’s the way forward, after all there are thousands of snaps floating towards oblivion on my hard drive that will never see the light of day otherwise.
Then again I have booked exhibition space at the end of August and haven’t a clue what I’m going to present in that show because there’s not much interest in photos of India here in rural Scotland.
Also I look at the work that’s winning top places in national club photography and wonder why I bother. Amazing wildlife, magical cultural locations and stunning landscapes, plus some highly imaginative montage creations. Okay, so I find endless photos of red squirrels, boxing hares and red kites exceptionally boring, and have no interest in asking friends to dress in clown costumes so that I can montage them into a smoking battle scene, but I do like photographing people in their own environment.
I need a new focus though.
Why do we take pictures?
As aids to memory? To capture unique congruences of time and space? To satisfy some aesthetic need to organise chaos into order within a rectangular frame….to make sense of it? To reflect on the human condition?
Then I look at the photos that galleries are exhibiting.
Social history I can understand. Photos taken 60 years ago in the back streets of Glasgow are fascinating and a few even have some kind of aesthetic quality, but so much of what gets wall space has no regard for photography as an art. They do often follow interesting conceptual ideas but the concept is often so very thin and the images are mundane at the very least.
I could list the photographers that I admire and though that would be a bit like name dropping I am still strongly influenced by many of them, but it’s vital that I also begin to be aware of my own urges……I was going to say ‘style’ here but that smacks of superficiality.
What gives work coherence?
Subject matter? Mood? Technique? Presentation? Intention?
Okay, okay……enough rambling.
The photebook was a collection of images of people hanging around on street corners, at bus stops and similar locations and was entitled “Waiting”. I think that it has coherence mainly because of the subject matter, the intention and to some extent, the mood. Where it perhaps falls down is in the presentation. There are monochromes and desaturated images as well as a few strongly coloured ones, and the formats vary wildly. Perhaps if I could be more disciplined in the way that I prepare my image making, then those issues might just get sorted.
But I have a problem.
Each picture places upon me it’s own constraints and needs. Some sing out COLOUR, some demand MONOCHROME and most insistently, some require individual compositional structures. Do I want to force the issue with this?
There’s only one way to find out………