A couple of days ago, after a lot of deep thought, sketched out below (the sheets are not in order) and after reading an interview with Jurgen Teller, I was reminded of the importance of taking photos on purpose. That is to say if I were to go around every day and take a photo of every single thing I find interesting, I’d end up with a lot of interesting chaotic nonsense. Which is exactly what I have been doing since I got my camera in January! However, I must say that there’s a lot of learning that goes on in my head while taking those most abstract photos, and I often fear I’ll forget the lessons learned when I delete them to free up my card so I do try to save them…
Anyway… yes, I’d come to the conclusion that my photos would benefit from self discipline… I began writing a post about that but it took way too long and ended up on the scrap heap, but I’ve resurrected it here with the password: “unpublished”
Yeah, so… I always find it better, or at least 1,000,000 times quicker to talk things over with people than to write about them. So yesterday I said to Katja Schneekloth, something along the lines of “You know what, the other day I got to thinking that I need to take less photos“, i.e. be more disciplined. She disagreed and made the point that her sculpture tutor requested that she simply fill her notebooks up and show them to her once every couple of months, nothing else. No requirement for actual sculpture. Then it was when she showed her notebook to a fellow student that he helped her draw out the discipline from her “chaotic nonsense“. I’ve found this idea so encouraging. I’ve realised that being disciplined doesn’t necessarily mean taking less photos, it means selecting specific photos.
Even then, when those photos are developed (downloaded), I’m still going to need to choose the good ones. This morning, I read another of the early In Camera interviews on the Showstudio site, with David Bailey which is where I’ve taken the quote for the title of this post from. What stood out was the grammatical incorrectness of the sentence. Whenever something is poorly expressed in writing I always feel a kinship with it and I interpret it and reinterpret it and understand it more… Perhaps that’s because I often cant interpret stuff that is written ‘correctly’. That sentence though, isn’t very re-interpretable, its clear despite its grammatical wotsit and much more importantly it is a great point, an undeniable breakthrough in my mind and the way ill be selecting photos from now on. I also like it ‘cos it reminds me of one of my favourite jokes that I don’t really understand: There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
Perhaps I’m one of those other 9 people.
Okay, it could be argued that there are also average photos, neither good nor bad, but these photos are, by default, bad according to this idea. This really is going to help enormously when it comes to that weeding process! (the first beams of sunrise light literally and metaphorically fill the room as I write this!) The idea of using a 5 star rating system has been destroyed by that sentiment of good/bad photos. I wonder what that rating system could be used for though… hmm come to think of it, I always wanted to rebel against those stars.
I’ve noticed that when a there’s one good shot in a series of 5 similar ones, the other four always detract from that single shot until they’re deleted, then when it stands alone it get the chance to shine … I guess the problem was that being an optimist, I thought the grey / average photos were good too. they’re not though, are they?