This evening I have been traveling back in time through the written word of a blogger, whom I have become quite fond of over the past six months. (visit her site here) On her site she posts three pictures: a daily photo, a daily Chuck (her and her husband’s dog) and daily style. The daily photo is pretty much anything and tends to be person or place oriented. Daily Chuck is….well….of Chuck the dog or of the new dog, Coco, or of the two of them together. You get the picture (pun completely and utterly intended – get over it!). And daily style is almost always of something from within her house: artwork, furniture, flatware, etc.
However, this evening I have been reading her blog archives starting at the very beginning; 2001. In those days I don’t think her web site included the daily photos, but she sometimes posted a blog with a link to what I think is a Flash-driven photo-set. I have noticed that many of her pictures are, to me, strange. Unsettling. Weird. As if a drunk person took them (and maybe she was!). They are often taken at strange angles or are too close to the subject matter or intentionally out-of-focus. She also seems to have had a thing for taking night photos, but moved the camera to obtain that blurred effect.
After having looked at no small number of these sorts of pictures I started to think about this apparently haphazard manner of photography versus my style: painfully linear and anal retentive. I don’t believe for a moment that her picture-taking was haphazard. Quite the opposite, actually. I think her work was very deliberate, but ‘feels’ very spontaneous and, again, haphazard. When I’m shooting I’m all concerned about whether or not the camera is perfectly level and have I framed the subject perfectly and will fuss and muss and make grunts and groans until I feel it’s perfect……instead of just taking a fucking picture.
I’m not saying that the things I do aren’t important. Hell. They’re very important for certain types of photography, but I think I’m allowing my way too anal retentive personality throttle my creative side. I have tried to break free of my linear-self (also known as Vincent) and have managed to do so on a few occasions, but on the whole my entire collection of photographs taken thus far with my lovely, lovely Canon 40D have been perfect examples of me trying way too hard and not enjoying myself.
However, and in my defence, if I am anal retentive and gravitate towards all things linear, then why shouldn’t I express this huge side of my personality through my photography? Why do I have to feel that I’m wrong, or doing poorly, simply because I don’t enjoy or don’t ‘get’ photography that doesn’t fall neatly within a sphere that cannot be described in nice, neat and linear manners? I think there is something out there….for me….in photography that will excite me greatly, but I haven’t yet found it. I don’t know what it is. I don’t even have a clue, but now that I have typed this all out I realize that I was wrong for kicking myself for not being more like her (and subsequently her style of photography) and that I need to experiment more in hopes that I will find what works well for me.
Maybe all the photographs of the cardinals is, at the very least, an indication that I enjoy wildlife photography? Must……get……400mm……prime…..lens…….