Thursday, January 3, 2013

For the New Year

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:  It's hard for me to believe that I've been making entries to this blog for a full six years, that this is the 973rd photograph I've posted.  My sole aim when I began was to challenge myself to a program of self-improvement by  committing to post a new photo daily (at least every third day) and to try to make each photograph better than the previous one.

The role of this written journal has evolved. It has always been a place for me to leave notes to myself and to record thoughts on photographic issues and to discuss what happened on the shoot.  More and more it has become a place for me to react in an expressive manner to the photograph posted and often to try to make photo and text speak as a whole.  The first draft of "Prison," was composed in these journals, and at least since then it has come to feel like a kind of failure when the text portion is less ambitious than the visual.  That new challenge has slowed down the production of new postings and has often played an, arguably, improper role in the picture selected for the day.  To remedy that, I resolve to forgive myself for more frequently posting a picture without any journal entry.

I will also recall that, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom," and will forgive myself in advance the foolishness of my excesses. I will repeat Blake's words thrice daily to inoculate myself against the arrogance of foolishness.

A final issue occurs to me regarding this blog.  The daily stream of photographs created by a blog has its own story-telling rhythm. It is totally unlike the experience of looking at images in an exhibition or in a photo book.  Daily posting is less tolerant of images that rely on their context with other images to exert their full meaning.  By posting a single image at a time, every image seeks autonomy.  That's part of what makes producing this blog a valuable challenge for me.  However, as in the images shared from travels, and as I look toward books, I sometimes feel the need to post supporting images, images that fill in a bit of background to the larger story.  If in the future I make more supporting posts, the test for posting on the blog remains to try never to post an image that I would not enjoy framing, hanging, and looking at on my wall.

Many thanks to all those who look and/or read sometimes, all the time or from tim to time, and especially thanks to all those who occasionally send word to tell me what they thought about or especially liked or would like to see differently.  So begins year seven.


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