Sometimes rules were meant to be broken. In this case, I am going to channel my best Johnny Depp and say that the rules that I established for this blog were really more like “guidelines”. When I set up this blog, I did so with the intent of using thoughts and images together. And as much as I enjoy my photography, I am all but too well aware that our society is awash in images today. So, I decided that contributing numerous images directly to that never-ending visual stream made no sense. The display and sharing of images today seems to focus less on communication, contemplation and interaction than it does on branding and/or affirmation. Thus, instead of choosing a photo sharing site, I specifically chose a blog so I could convey a sense of time and place with both words and images. And while I will continue posting in that vein, it has also become clear to me that, once again, Ernst Haas was correct. Sometimes individual photos must speak their own pure language, something that Haas previously described as a “hieroglyphic language of light and time”. And with that, I would like to introduce something I am calling Photo Sketches.
I said that rules,or guidelines, if you will, were meant to be broken. As such, posts categorized as Photo Sketches will usually contain minimally processed images with little or no words accompanying them. They will appear from time to time, mostly when images call for them, like the two below, and are meant to be more contemplative in nature.
Why are Photo Sketches different? Images posted as such are different on two accounts. First, in keeping with the concept of a sketch, they are a quick way of presenting an idea, and are not usually intended as a finished work. Often I am asked to share images from a specific shoot, usually shortly afterwards. This is sometimes a challenge for me, because when not on deadline, I like to let my images “age” a bit so I can be more removed from them when it comes time to editing and selecting images for viewing. In creating Photo Sketches, I now have a place, and a work flow structure, for sharing images that catch my attention during my initial culling after I have finished shooting. Typically, these were the images which I shared with folks upon request, or when I wanted some early feedback about some new processing technique.
Second, I believe that Haas was right in that some images need to speak their pure language on their own. I am sure that these images would still speak well accompanied by some words, otherwise the whole premise for this blog would collapse, but sometimes less is more. The images above, which actually started out as equipment test shots, really just called out to me. Classic in subject matter and composition, they did not seem to need any back stories to help communicate their messages.
While at some point, you may see these images in final form, I thought you might appreciate a glimpse of some works in progress. I plan on a lot more experimental shooting this year, more of which I hope to discuss in later posts, so I expect that you will see Photo Sketches posted from time to time. I hope you enjoy, and as always, feel free to post comments if you wish.