Being lost is probably a shooters dream. Not knowing where you are, what your feeling being in an undiscovered region. Very romantic and actually stimulating, especially visually. Being lost in the familiar surrounding that is familiar to you, well, not so easy and rather unsettling. I’ve heard it taught that photographers are supposed to see as if seeing the subject for the fist time. I always felt that we should see as if it’s the last time. I now question both methods and kinda feel that the shooters truth is someplace in the middle.
We walk the paths of photographers before us and try to find a new way to see the subject matter. We look for the souls of lost photos and hope to be able to breathe new life into ourselves and our work.
If we wander around the familiar and feel as if we are at home base, is that being complacent? If we wander around and feel as if we are lost in the familiar, is that wishful thinking? A famous photographer said to me decades ago, “Life is but a Dream”. Well, I lived by that statement in part and in whole my entire life. So, when do I get to wake up? What do I find when and if I do? Do I get to have a camera handy so I can make photos of the awakening?
Why do I see things and most times they aren’t like seeing the first time or last time, just odd in the here and now. In my case it’s not odd it’s natural for me. Does that make me odd? Do I care? NO! Yes! Of course, I do. I won’t admit that I care but I do even if I don’t.
I wonder if others get thoughts like this. I wonder when I am making a photo and someone is in it and looking directly at me, what is the experience like for them? I know it depends on the person just like it depends on the shooter and I feel there is no common answer to this question. So maybe as I make each photo as an individual, just maybe, as crazy as it seems, each person in the photo is having a unique experience. So let’s assume I’m on to something here. Let’s assume that for once in my life but not the first for once but just this for once, I have it right, not totally in full right because there’s no such thing in the world but right as right can be for me and also for my readers and friends. (My Shrink at the VA too.)
So I am lost in familiar places. Maybe it’s not the streets where I’m lost but in me poor mind. Maybe it’s both and I am having an awakening of sorts. Maybe not and maybe I don’t care enough to figure it out. Maybe I think too much and try to justify what I’m doing. Dunno and don’t really care.
I’ve been on the streets of Philadelphia since the late 60’s making photos. I’m never bored. I am always loving making photos in the familiar places that others get complacent in. I don’t and am happy for that.
For me it’s about the here and now and not beeing lost at all. Maybe the familiar place I’m lost in isn’t the streets abut my mind. Maybe I lost my mind or better yet, maybe I’m lost in my mind. Maybe Garry was right. “It’s all a Dream” and maybe when I have my camera with me, I wake up.
How about you?