Yes, other stuff. But not photography.
Yes, other stuff. But not photography.
This is a thought directed at myself, a bit of introspection you inspire by your introspective opposing viewpoint.
I consider myself a low volume producer. Four prints a day, or maybe in a week is peak production for me. So I am guilty of being a less-productive darkroom worker than I should be.
And I feel bad about that. I should make more prints. I should print every good negative and make multiple prints of the really good ones. I have a ten-year backlog at this pace and I keep taking pictures. I have constraints that keep me from consuming too much material, and constraints that keep me near the darkroom but not using it. I see that I am better now than I have ever been, but recognize that my constraints limit how good I can be. In some respects I might be like you... I make peace with a realistic idea of how good I am. But I can not rest. I see only the limit to how good I might become if I continue following this path. So instead of peaceful clarity this makes me un-easy. I want to be better at dodging, better at retouching negatives, better at making prints that are obviously better when seen side by side with the rejects.*
That some photographic workers are compelled to print in volume is cause for celebration. If you enjoy something immensely and do not spend much time doing it, can you be as happy as if you spent more time at it? If you are good at something and spend more time doing it, do you not get better? And if you produce tons of prints, aren't you giving future generations of sensitive photographic collectors the gift of affordable enjoyment of your original work?
*And since these are pretty clear goals, I actually think I can make some progress.
Bill Burk: Your prescience is in danger of being properly construed as being naked inteliigence: You have presented both sides and have done so admirably.
By waiting to print, you encourage introspection and modification of your original thought process as to what will ultimately manifest. Rather than finalizing and restricting the image to what you think now and are able to produce now, and thereby tethering yourself to the image's restrictive final portrayal, you, by delaying, allow modification and possible amendment of the thought process to becomeultimately, an integral and intimate part of that image.
That said, the 'drilling' of the 'craft' aspects of making print after print cannot be said to be amiss. There is much to gain here. Photography is not only craft; it involves subjective aspects and semiotics as well. Significance of the visual image has impact in more ways than the obvious and blind people can also take part in this fulfillment, given a bit of intellect and ability to project.
An amalgam of these two ways of thinking about this is probably best achieved by making many smaller prints and leaving them unmounted so that you gain the advantages of refining the craft, seeing your improvement grow, (albeit not always steadily), yet still getting to make, eventually, that future image which will have all the advantages of both craft perfection and introspective maturity. - David Lyga
Yes every now and then I feel like selling most of my stuff. When G.A.S. gets bad, I start thinking "Why do I have all of this stuff?" What am I going to do with all of this gear?" Some of the lenses I have were bought strictly out of curiosity. Lately, I've evaluated lens choices. I've decided to sell some lenses to fund ones that will fit my needs better or zooms that have a very useful focal length. I got the 18-135 to replace the 18-70 for the Nikon D300. I want to sell the 60 micro to get the 105 micro for the extra working distance. A few inexpensive zooms will be sold to raise cash for the Nikon 28-200D. I'm getting rid of all my Nikon Series E lenses except for the 75-150 and 100 2.8. The 50 1.8D will go soon along with a few other things to pay for a 85 1.8D. When it's all over, I plan on selling about 12 lenses and ending up with 6 or 7 "new" ones. But the ones I want to get always cost more than the ones I plan on selling :(