Hi David Lyga,
Originally Posted by David Lyga
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.