shooting blind

by julie posted May 1, 2008

Not a positive post today :(

I’m finding that it’s a fine line between post hoc rationalisation, and understanding what you were actually doing with an image/series at the time.

I’m looking at this city stuff I’ve been shooting for SoFoBoMo and trying to figure out what I’m doing with it. I made the decision to shoot intuitively and not think about a ‘theme’ or ‘project’ during the process, and now my conscious self wants to make up all sorts of impressive sounding reasons why I like crumbling walls, rusty fences and broken windows. Every time I try to figure out what I was responding to on that intuitive level, my brain steps in and recounts various snippets of art talk from blogs and magazines I’ve read in the past. It’s a frustrating conflict, feeling like you’re fighting within yourself, trying to bring something to light that doesn’t talk in words and disappears at the slightest provocation to perform on demand. No wonder artists developed the concept of a muse – a shy but tricksy creature, contrary and capricious, refusing to work under pressure and deserting us at the worst possible times.

I feel quite lost. How do you fight through those (impressive sounding but completely false) justifications your rational mind puts in the way of understanding what your muse was up to? I feel like I need to understand, to tie up loose ends, or to move on to another level. I’m disinclined to keep shooting ‚blind‚ like this, with no clues as to what I’m doing and where I could go from here.

3 Responses to shooting blind

  1. your plight reminds me of the book I’m reading just now, ‘blink’

  2. I don’t think you need to have a theme or a rational reason behind your photos. Just shoot what you like. Sometimes the photos collectively will announce their theme once you’ve finished. And especially for something like SoFoBoMo — where you are encouraged to experiment, let go, be impulsive, and fly without restraint — you should feel free to just shoot with abandon.

    I, too, have felt lost during shoots, feeling like all I was doing was random. I prefer to have some theme in mind. But I think randomness — or texture, or color, or age, or brokenness — can be a theme too.

  3. Likewise, I am realizing that although I have a initial idea where I think I am going, the real understanding of where I am going is an outcome of the journey. So rather than panic when things are not gong as what I anticipated, I am trying hard to allow myself go with the process. This is NOT easy.

    As a result, I had to allow myself that not completing the SoFoBoMo series within the required timespan may be a consequence. Which seems to have helped…so I still am working very hard to make it happen, as long as I don’t force the “flow”.

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