I've been taking at least some completely blurred/out-of-focus shots on just about every shoot since I started shooting over 25 years ago. I've always liked the dreamy look of it. If I wanted to be indulgent (and make people roll their eyes), then every other image in my body of work would be one of these. To my mind, it always works— but of course, most others just see it as fooling around. I get away with incorporating blur into just about every image of mine by keeping at least a little bit of focal point and shooting at f1.2. The mind tends to see completely blurred as an accident or incompetence, but a razored edged focus at least somewhere in there takes a lot more effort. Which, well, tends to be true. I try to keep from showing the completely out of focus stuff to a minimum. I just look at and appreciate them on the contacts. It takes a lot of effort on my part, though, not to show them. Seriously.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
For those that may be curious, they are quite a few images on this blog with film grain. Well, I shot film for many years— late 1980's to present day, although I mostly stopped by the late 2000's. I still have a full darkroom and many film cameras. For the most part, I find using film to be too tedious and limiting unless it's larger format and/or a special developing process. I've scanned many of my film shots— some from negatives and some from prints if they were unique or noteworthy. The negative scans I reworked in Photoshop because I really wanted to see the difference from original prints made from them, and the print scans are as faithful as possible since that was the point of scanning them. So images on this blog that have grain are mostly from those scans of old work, although I typically make them look like my newer work. That makes sense to me since this is a showcase of newer work— and with photography, old work can become new work. The old versions are in print portfolios. I make new prints as well so that I can eventually compare the difference. It is a project in and of itself. Lately, I've been applying Photoshop grain to newer digital work just to see if one seems more interesting than without. Not surprisingly, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. This doesn't seem like a dishonest thing since they are virtually indistinguishable from their film counterparts in web version form, despite the fact that I'm not always noting what is what. Hell, you can hardly notice the grain until you click on the image for a larger version. There is no truth in photography! I've written about that before. If there is no truth in photography, then it can't be dishonest— with the obvious exception of an image being falsely used as documented evidence in a newspaper, book or court case. Not that photography really has had such weight as being inherently truthful since its beginnings. To make a long story short (too late?), these two images are new and digital. Just to let you know ;)
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
I've always felt a deep affinity with Egon Schiele, an early twentieth-century Viennese artist. His world was not the glittering & hedonistic world typically depicted by his contemporaries— but rather instead a grubby, base & seedy world. Schiele's erotic art is not as sensuous as that produced by his mentor, Gustav Klimt. As with almost all of Schiele's work, his erotic figures are twisted and distorted. His pictures convey the idea of sexual experimentation, often tinged with disappointment or regret. His work is not easily defined by any single artistic movement. He was a unique talent who created a truly unusual style, decades ahead of its time.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
One of my favorite photographers is Keith Carter. His images are timeless and enigmatic. My favorite quote from him is "Make the picture, just make the picture. You've got the rest of your life to figure out what it means." That sums up in better words than I could say about the mindset of what I've been doing for 25 years— I don't like to think too much about meaning as I'm shooting, as it would slow me down. I've got plenty of time for that later...