New Directions in Photography?

Currenlty am working on an online competition submission (against my better judgement), I have already submitted two images to since acquiring my Nikon Coolpix 5400 Digital camera, and of course have failed dismally. So even though I can better expend my energies elsewhere with things like Lightwave, I am having another go, partially because this time it's a 'topic' that I can really really relate to. The topic is, 'Buildings in Decay Decline and Abandonment'.

Who would have thought though that it would be this difficult. Two shoots in as many days, 70 -100 images a lot of which I find interesting, and more than adequate for my own work yet strangely difficult to feel really happy with. Is it the immediacy of the process, the ease at which I can capture and quickly review results that causes this consternation? This is essentially a huge shift in my usual workflow developed over nearly 20 years of making fine prints.

This changed workflow is, I think, one of the greatest hurdles to my practice of Art based photography using digital. In the past there was the initial euphoria over pressing the shutter then a short time later more excitement as you pulled the still wet film from the tank, then, a day or two would pass and maybe just maybe the proof would look good. Back out I would go with my camera, when I next had a chance, and more of the above, either as re-shoots to correct errors in the original proofs, or to take the idea in new directions, or just to follow and chase light or locations. At some point during the year perhaps when the light was bad or when I didn't have time I would sit down with the proofs made *over a period of time* and evaluate the results. These proofs would find themselves in a box that was carried everywhere and looked at in quiet moments. Eventually connections could be made between the physical objects, between the proofs themselves. They were then often sequenced and organised and re-sequenced until enough images were made for an exhibition of some sort. Some times the exhibition came before the conclusion of the collection and collation of the work, but still the *process* of collection comparison and collation was intuitive, tactile and able to mimic real space and time, by the sheer physicality of the objects themselves.

This is all changed now with digital.

Now the images are collected and viewed on the spot. Proofing happens on a screen. Images organisation is hampered and limited by the size of the screen and the space it occupies. Now images are more limited in their sequencing. no longer can I look at images in a micro way whilst simultaneously maintaining an overview of the *whole* body of work, I can only fit so many on-screen and only in a hierarchical way, either by file name, of physical space occupied on the screen.

Have I just talked myself into a screen based method of communication?

You will notice here that I haven't even mentioned Photoshop at all. Photoshop is just another tool another way of bending and shaping and manipulating my images, it has little or no impact on my work, other than perhaps allowing me to consider the shift towards colour.

No comments: