It is that feelings and or thoughts awaken inside me and sometimes without warning. When this happens, and it happens more in recent days, I get to a place where I am content and feel that I am ready. I mentioned before about being clean and working without influence from anyone but yourself. Let me clarify. There exist nothing CLEAN. So what we as shooters need to do is to recognize the dirt that permeates our heart and our vision. There will always be residue left over and that is where we need to address our state of awareness and self being. If we recognize the dirt, we need not go crazy trying to CLEAN ourselves, just accept the dirt and work around it. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with having a reference point to check on with what and why we do what we do. If you are working and when you see your work you think, wow, so close to Bresson…well, my friend, you have a problem. If when you see your work and you feel that it’s a …wow, I really like this, exactly what I feel, well… you got it. If like me, many times, I see my stuff and think, this is strange and I don’t fully recognize it, but it turns me on. That’s really ideal sometimes.
If you have that all the time, well, Dr G can fit you in for some sessions. Please bring all the people in your head with you.
My biggest collection of the most satisfying work, for me is my Dreamcatcher series. I first discovered it in the early 70’s and I was reluctant to work that way. Remember, that was Leica Film daze. So I had a roll that I shot in NYC and my shutter speed was like 1/30. I would go up or down as required. No meter, just breathing the light. The film was Tri-X 640, developed by me. So in a week later, I had more film to run and I processed 5 rolls. When I made contacts, I looked at everything and then the roll under discussion came to the top. I looked thru my Loupe and at first I was upset because there was so much movement in the frames. A few days later I went down to the darkroom and looked at the contacts again. There were certain photos, no images, if you please, that were etched in my mind. I couldn’t delete them as they were bouncing around like crazy in my head. I didn’t say my crazy head.
After a undetermined amount of time, I notice the same thing happening but different images and what seemed to be a different vision. This has repeated over and over again thru my 50 years of being a shooter. The importance of this, is to be able to see your vision with some clarity.
See, what we shooters do is to search for our photographic identity on a daily basis. This search drives us to do things normal humans dare not attempt. We search for the best film/developer combo, the best software, camera. lenses and most importantly, the search for the best excuse to the wife for buying that new camera. Don’t laff, if you have a wife, if you are a wife, if you are just a couple together or any combination of the above and/or more, a great excuse is always handy.
So, the lessons we learn and adopt from our life, are the lessons that can save us in many more ways then anticipated. Those lessons are the lessons of our life and if we maintain a thread of humanity, we might share some of that knowledge with others.
Ultimately, we each are accountable for the life we live. We each are accountable for the photos we make and what they do. We don’t get to go to the marble Slab and bullshit our way out with THE LORD. So, maybe dealing with our history is enough to keep us going. Maybe not. We get one life to live. We can waste it trying to be Bresson or anyone else or we can stand tall and strong and make our work, then stand and say, I am the author of this work. You decide if you like or understand it, I will make more because I have to.
Be blessed my friends and remember, Bresson never tried to make photos like you………