I began my photo a day series on Wednesday December 18th and, as today is the first of the month and my birthday, thought it about time to take stock and review.
Firstly, and reflecting on the process of creating the images, my view had changed from one where the exercise offered a form of liberation to one that is a little vacuous and unfulfilling. Let me explain. Over the past four years I have been practicing and honing my photographic skills based on 1) building sets of images of anywhere between 4 and 18 to a set and 2) contextualising their conception and production within photographic culture and history.
The process moved me from one where I created images as purely pictures – visual objects where the form was pleasing or the subject matter interesting – to one where I use photos to say things. That is create images to make visual discourses. Such images were visual statements with form used as their grammar and so these images could be read as either pictures by people with no knowledge of photographic culture and history, or as discourses with visual references to that culture and history.
Thus when my last course ended and I began a photo a day the action was liberating because I went back to creating images on a whim without having to explain or justify my choice. But this has become rather vacuous as I don’t have something profound to say every single day.
However, and notwithstanding the above, the practice of creating a photo a day does push one’s imagination in conceptualising and creating form, and acts as an aid memoir to the things I have studied. So their is value in the process because it keeps me thinking and doing. The practice is also useful because I also post the image a day on Flickr and this sometimes generates discussion about the image or related issues. In that way it puts me in touch with a community of interest that is very very valuable to me.
In addition as the number of images grow I hope to be able to see things and create meanings out of associations between images and this is my first go at that.
The images so far from December 18th 2013
First impressions, first expressions
Clearly there is no common aesthetic theme that runs through each and every photo. Some photos emphasise subject matter through Straight photography while others are more expressionist and yet others more formal. I think the images do offer viewers a sense of who I am and my place in, and view of the world. Here are examples of formal, straight and expressionist images.
Some images do make obvious associations with others in the sets either by form, colour or subject matter. For example, these first two photos of share a common subject matter – Greg – yet the style is very different with the first being straight and the second expressionist.
These next two are formalist in approach and share common form and aesthetic qualities yet are very different subject matter:
Or would some people say they are abstract? I wouldn’t because they reveal the nature of the subject matter rather than transform it into something else.
These two images draw my eye to associate them because of the strong colours of one and colour caste of the other:
One or two of the associations were unexpected. I wonder what I will make of these images in a year or ten years time and whether any one approach will dominate?