Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Sense of Light and Time

Today's photos have yet to be processed, film was used almost exclusively.

Dear William Henry Fox Talbot,

I’m having a lot of difficulty working with digital images. Before this course, I thought that any perceived difficulty was just my preferences. Maybe it was just a lack of familiarity with the equipment, or general skill. Now, I know that my difficulties go beyond simple dislike. Reviewing all the pictures from these days I feel so disconnected. My digital camera is a fully automatic weapon, and I don my disconcerting eye. While I know that I thought about the composition of nearly every photograph, so much of it I think of as uninteresting now. Am I just too hard on myself? Is it that too often I find myself comparing my work against others instead of my own?

The hours that I spent at Lacock Abby and the surrounding Village was so wonderful, carrying my Nikon FM2 at the ready. I had gone through my whole reserve of 100 and 400 iso film. When I did so the feeling I felt was strikingly similar to what one feels when one turns the last page of a really good book. It’s that feeling that the world has changed somehow, but no one seems to recognize it. I could have stayed there forever, and I felt disappointed that we couldn’t have spent more time there. The tour was great, but I couldn’t really pay attention and take photographs at the same time. We were always moving forward, without a chance to take it in, and no patience to take any steps backward.

That’s digital photography to me. The emphasis is on instantaneousness, immediate gratification, and convenience. The result is an insane pressure to have a quick draw and shoot fast. This isn’t a good environment to train an artist. Sure being swift and agile is an asset, but I think that a good eye and technical proficiency should be developed first. Sometimes time can mean the difference between a mediocre photograph and one that is wonderfully fantastical.

I need and crave that physical connection. I’m sure that you, William Henry Fox Talbot, can understand where I’m coming from. While you didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing digital photography in your lifetime, to accomplish what you did must have taken passion. Considering that it much have taken many hours upon hours of work, as well as, lots of trial and error to produce a single image. Was your motivation simply that? To produce a single image or was it a grandiose vision to change the world?

So, me and photography? It’s a doorway into the parts of myself that scream “I’m an artist.” It’s a window into possibility. It wasn’t until I connected with my camera that prospect opened up in my life. Before photography I was trapped in a trajectory that had nothing to do with my life’s quest. Now…
Best wishes,
Zoey Wyn (Joyful Life)