I am a late comer to photography, as I mentioned in my opening post at the inception of this blog. While I've been at it now for the past 20 years, ok...so I'm old... I picked up my first real camera at age 30. With no formal training, no previous art school classes and only the foggiest notion of what might be entailed in the business of photography, I plunged head first into developing the skills to make a living in the commercial and editorial arenas. All in all, I have spent the entire time since learning to & producing images that I could sell for my daily bread, marketing myself, developing industry contacts... yes even teaching for a short time. So far, this has worked out well on the commercial end of things. What I now begin to realize is, in the process of developing the technical skills to get the job done, how limiting this experience has been in terms of exploring the artistic side of my subconscious. Instead of making images simply for the sake of making them, somewhere in the back of my mind was always a little voice asking "where or to whom can I sell this?" or "how can it be applied to my business marketing scheme?"
OK... the commercial & editorial work has been generous and supported me to the point where I'm almost comfortable. I have a very nice and well equipped studio, loving family, a plot of rice field in Bali, a comfortable home here on Maui and a couple of dollars in the bank. And even though the near-term economic prospects have me a little bit nervous, good assignments continue to come in...
What I'm getting at here is that for the first time in my life, I am not only open to, but actively "playing"... shooting images for no good reason... or at least no good economically viable reason. And... after shooting them, I bring them back and process them... tweaking them in various ways and finding results that I find interesting.
The upside to this playing is that I hope it begins spilling over into my other work in certain ways. My enthusiasm for image making is at an all time high at the moment and the continued pursuit of this new journey will hopefully sustain that enthusiasm. At the very least, I am ending up with a new body of work, completely different from anything I've done before. I hesitate to label it "artistic" as that is such a loaded descriptive and so often used to convince others that a sow's ear is really a silk purse.
Maybe this new work is crap. Who knows? I will show it to others eventually in order to solicit their feedback, but for the moment, I'm simply jazzed & revved up at the prospect of the next image and having confidence & freedom to now push my craft a little further.
The image above resulted in my poking around the Paia Mill last evening as I drove home. Some further post work produced the finished image.