I’ve recently been complemented on my photographs. I particularly appreciate the comments from visual artists, including graphics designers.
But I have problems with photography.
I find that dratted rectangle a nasty constraint. Poetry does not have the same kind of enforced hard edged limit; poetic form is about the arrangement of words. The limits of the presentation technology do not limit the essential poem.
None of my photographs are original. Every image I’ve created is an image I’ve seen, remade. I’ve developed no original form. I’m not sure I can. I’m not even convinced it’s possible. Of course, standing back, new form will happen, someone somewhere will revolutionise photography: but I have no clue. This is ironic, perhaps, given the current revolutions in photographic technology.
I have created original form in poetry, or so I believe. That’s why I concentrate on poetry, and will continue to do so.
All the same, I am going to pursue my photography. Anyone who looks closely will see myriad technical flaws. I’ve often exploited those errors when creating images, but usually those flaws were unintentional. That is poor technique.
Photographic society members often produce technically superb images, and as such they can teach me a lot. However, their taste seem conservative, dull even. I witnessed a debate recently on photographing statues; it was entirely pre–1962, pre–Campbell’s Soup, pre–Warhol. That is archaically conservative. I shall avoid them, just as I avoid poetry workshops.
If I’m going to develop my photography artistically, I need to find innovative photographers, the avant garde perhaps. This returns me to my second point above. I suppose all this only really reflects the deep lack of innovation in my own photography.
I have ideas on how to battle that damned rectangle. Perhaps I should pursue them aggressively, pin them down. I have used one stolen idea quite successfully, corrupting the horizon.
There should be startling things happening. New technologies are revolutionising photography, and I don’t mean digital cameras, as brilliant as they are. The real change is software, products such as Studio Artist, which vanish the line between photography and paint stick arts. If someone wants to create a specific image, whether (s)he does so using camera and software, or paint stick and software, the technology used to produce the image becomes unimportant compared to the image itself. The distinction is reducing, and I suspect the differences between the visual arts will eventually reduce to a continuous scale. It’s not there yet, you can’t print texture, for example. But eventually, perhaps, photography, painting, drawing, etc., will appear different forms of the same art.