Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken or the Egg

In discussing Ivan Sigal's work The White RoadThe New York Times Lens Blog for Wednesday, May 8th makes an interesting point about the development of a photographic project. Mr Sigal is quoted as saying 'First images, then ideas'. To which I couldn't agree more. It's fine to have an area of interest to go after photographically, but in my own experience, when I cast about for an idea to pursue and make into a project I usually come up with over-intellectualized and/or superficial images because I'm not shooting from my gut. That's important for me. For my images to have impact, I need to feel the intensity and honesty of the moment so that it's transmitted into the photograph. When I 'go with the flow' of my guts over a period of time the collective story of the series of images evolves of it's own. If I don't honor that emotional impetus, my work becomes a sterile construct of my consciousness. The point of all this is that for quite a while I've been shooting on the streets of New York with no particular end in mind except to go where my feet take me and photograph what I respond to emotionally. Over time a body of work has evolved and taken shape that has now become more clearly structured. In Sigal's words 'first images, then ideas'. It works for me.

On another note, while it may not be a great idea to be out shooting in the noonday sun - heavy shadows, strong contrast, and all that - sometimes when I'm walking around a photo just begs to be taken. I sure hope the guy survived this lady's wrath.