Friday, 19 February 2010

where do we go from here

recently, i've been feeling a bit restless and like i've lost my focus in photography.

part of it may be a side-effect of the 365 project on flickr i'm taking part it. it means i have to take a photo each day and post it to my flickr stream. not surprisingly, there have been some dry spells already. so i had to post photos i wasn't really happy with. and i took photos i didn't really care about. and i got a bit confused about what i want to be taking photos of in the first place. don't get me wrong, the benefits of the project by far outweigh the lows, so i'll keep going. i'm even finding i'm learning a lot by the things i'm dissatisfied with, perhaps even more so than by the things i'm fine with.

another part of this may be that i'm having difficulties in finding out how to use my digital SLR in a way that gives me the results i'm after. i'm struggling a bit with the "what you see is what you get" aesthetic of it, which i've written about before. i'm still a long way from mastering my new camera the way i'm hoping for. and i'm not particularly known for being patient.

there are so many photographers whose work i admire - artists whose work spans such a range of different styles. b&w masters like dorothea lang or walker evans, colour magicians like eggleston, shore or helen levitt. japanese photographers - from daido moriyama to rinko kawauchi (ah, don't get me started...). contemporaries like uta barth. i'm by no means implying a comparison between these artists and my own at times rather questionable attempts. i'm just saying that the aesthetic, the subjects i feel drawn to vary widely. i'm feeling really clueless at times as to what the heck i'm trying to do here.

so i've been thinking whether it's in any way justified to ramble on in this corner of the blogsphere and post my attempts at photography when i don't even know what i want half of the time. looking at other blogging photographers' work - say elisabeth of fine little day, sandra juto, ulrika, lea bolvig, alexandria of little postcards, anna of the baker's daughter, jen of simply photo, brian of the blue hour, abby of abby try again, charlotte of sprink, jennan mieli (i could go on and on) - i see so much beautiful coherence, i see so much focus. which is extremely inspiring. but i also feel a little bit lost in the woods.

i've come to the conclusion though, that letting people look over my shoulder while i'm trying to make sense of things, and while i'm learning, is a good thing for me. actually, it's probably a blessing. and so i hope you'll bear with me while i'm finding my way. 

p.s.: to help me a focussing a little and keep going, i've started a little project for my 365. it's called "on the washing machine" (oh ha, i know). could be you tire of this much earlier than i do. don't say i haven't warned you.

have a jolly weekend.


kristina said...

I understand exactly what you mean, I'm feeling the same thing. just that "what do I want to take photos of in the first place" - thank you for putting the feeling into words :-)

I too am very much enjoying the 365 project but it is challenging. but we need confusion and challenges to grow, right? :-)

wishing you a lovely weekend!

Jude said...

Thank you for your post! Like Kristina, you said exactly what I've been feeling too. Some days I try to remind myself that it is the process of taking pictures that matters. But it's hard to do it everyday, especially when I'm not happy with the photos.

That said, your photos are great!

Cheers, Jude
(Jude Doyland from 365 project)

Unknown said...

Kristina! I think every photographer feels that way from time to time.
I have difficulties to find a red thread in my work but I can so easily se it in others, for instance in yours - and that is meant as a compliment. You inspire me.
I love the 365 project and at the same time kind of hate it :) think you know what I mean; it forces me to sometimes post pictures I am not happy with, an that is a struggle *sigh*.
All the best to you and keep up the good work.

Mandy said...

I love your work, I always find it inspiring and I feel you have such a unique eye..... we all have these moments of self doubt in whatever path we choose, keep up the great work , your blog is one of my all time favorites XXX

jane said...

i know what you mean- there is so much talent out there. it´s hard not to start thinking too much. all i can say is that i love your eye - and really admire your talent. don´t be so hard on yourself! besos!

alexandria said...

I've been thinking about your words for a bit and I do understand. Sometimes I am definitely my own worst editor. I have found though that what helps is to keep trying, but if you need a break to take one and that's okay too! Sometimes switching cameras helps me, taking a different walking route, or to plan a particular location to shoot film. Experimenting is part of the fun and I can see that you do that often which I love and enjoy. I agree with all the others above and their words to you.

et lille oejeblik - a little moment said...

i read this back then and never commented. i think, i wasn't sure what to say at the time. still not, only that all these people you mention are good, but so are you. you're on my list of "very inspiring photographers with great eyes". of course you need to stop sometimes and consider direction and what it is you want from it, express, but wether you can see it or not right now, there's definitely a certain "kristina" to everythin you do. and i love that certain something you always add..