Monday, February 23, 2009

Choice or Obligation

It dawned on me the other day that it's been awhile since I took any new photographs (unless you count the one I took of my Mamiya lens that I sold on Ebay). As a dedicated photographer I hate to admit this, but I haven't really felt like shooting new images for awhile.

There a few reasons for this I think. One reason that I have mentioned here before, is that I have been scanning older negatives and reworking them as digital images and loving every minute of it. This has been a great way to practice and learn new Photoshop skills, but it has also allowed me to get closer in some cases, to what my original vision for the image was.

Another possible explanation for this case of apathy is a while back I started featuring a "New Image of The Month" on my website. This really motivated me to create new work but recently it has started to feel a little more like something I "should" do, not really something I "wanted" to do. That's not fair to me or to those of you who enjoy viewing my work. In addition, some of the pressure to create new images has also been reduced because of my decision not to participate in art festivals this year. Usually at this time of year I would be crazy busy making new images so that when the show season started I would have plenty of new work to show. I did not want the people who came to the shows every year to get tired of my booth. I felt a certain obligation to keep things fresh. This is not a bad thing, it's just not my situation this year.

So the other day, in a moment of deep reflection, I made the decision that unless I truly felt moved to pick up my camera, I was going to hold off making new photographs for awhile. This is not an easy thing to declare out loud but I am saying it anyway.

It also occurred to me that whenever I go into Lightroom or Photoshop, I start to feel overwhelmed. I had created a fairly good system of keeping my negatives organized but now it seems like digital files threatened to take over my hard drive. I really want to get in there and label and in many cases, delete, and create a logical system for my files.

I figure I have until July to finish this project. "Why July?" you might be asking. Well, in July I will be spending almost 2 weeks in Paris! My birthday happens to be on Bastille Day and this year I am turning 50 and want to be in Paris and pretend the fireworks are for me! I have never been to France and I know I am going to be driving my family crazy with my selfish desire to scout out amazing opportunities for "Kodak" moments.

By August my "New Image of the Month" feature will be resurrected by choice and not by obligation. As far as I am concerned, that is the only way you can make art that means something to you.

Au revoir mon ami..........................

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