The Pain of the Edit
Should I stay or should I go…
I'm editing my on-line galleries. Not because I want to but because it seems a necessary evil, dictated by the gatekeepers and know-it-alls of artistic merit. It is an evil designed to cull the herd of lesser beings; the weak, wounded and woeful. Very Darwinian.
It's all because of this damn vision thing...
Every time I see a blog post or article about "finding your vision" I just become more confused about where my vision lies and whether I even have a vision. Often I think that vision and style are used interchangeably which adds to the confusion. Maybe they really are the same thing or just so nuanced that I can't see one from the other.
Robin Walker has a vision article on PetaPixel that includes the following:
Problem is, if I pick 5, 10, 15 images they'll all be so different that I'd need a dictionary of words to encompass the range of "styles" included in my selection. I shoot what I like, what catches my eye. I've photographed boats, rocks, cars, mountains, trees, lakes, kids, clouds, field hockey games and track meets. I could probably select 1 from every subject matter that I really, really like and then sit there like a confused mystic trying to see the link between them. I realize that subject matter and style/vision are different and perhaps after many hours of contemplative study I'd discover I just like highly textured monochrome images and suddenly that comic strip light bulb goes off above my head and "Voila!" I have a style. But then I'll page through Michael Kenna's book and think that I'd really like to do simple low contrast landscapes.
I know, I can do whatever type of photography I want, don't listen to the "experts," do what you like. Do what satisfies your artistic center. Yadda, yadda, yadda. But, what if what I would like is a recognizable style?
I used to see Joe McNally as a refuge. He has a very eclectic range of subject matter and I would convince myself that if McNally can shoot everything from rock stars to ballerinas he has as wide a range of subjects as I do. He shoots everything! But, you'll never see a McNally image that isn't perfectly lit; with strobes. Style.
The search continues...