I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to the basics of my photography.
Over the last few years, I’ve read books on critical theory, visual art, perception, aesthetics, graphic art, creative photography, black and white photography, infrared photography,lighting,posing,compositioncompositingphotoshopillustratordigitalcolorcontrolprocess-controlarthisctoolorytphheiolroysposoypchhyo…you get it
I simply love making photographs. I don’t have a passion for any particular subject or genre that I can tell. I love searching, making, processing, printing, working…digital or silver gelatin makes no difference. I’m as happy and lost in bliss rocking a print in a tray of developer as tracing out a mask with my stylus..
I’m not out to change the world. I’m not trying to unveil some insidious injustice. I’m not out to exploit anyone or anything except light and shadow. I just like making pictures. Period. I’m not out to impress. I’m not out for praise or acceptance. I photograph what I like. Perhaps that is why so much of my work is never seen by anyone but me.
I study and learn so I can master my medium, so it serves my creativity and vision, rather than constraining them through doubt and ambiguity.
To me, Brett Weston was the finest photographer I know of, but I don’t know why. I don’t really care why. His images talk to me. Not all of them, but many of them. Some make me gasp. Some of them make me hold my breath. It’s a weird cross between feeling comforted and feeling naked, but not in an obscene way. There are no words. Words are too crude and seem profane and feeble in this context.
Somehow I know that the only way to get there is to go. There is no map. A map would defeat the purpose. One must find one’s own way. The way IS the way.
I think the best thing in the world is when one of my photographs makes me feel like some of Brett’s do, even though they’re not nearly as good as his to anyone else, they’re as good to me and I’ve decided I don’t really care what anyone else thinks.
If that makes me or my work shallow…then kiss my shallow-picture-makin’ ass.