Ah good, you found the new location for the blog. Welcome back! As I wrote on the old blog site, I have consolidated my portfolio and my blog to make updating and posting a bit more easy for me. That required to also move my portfolio to the WordPress platform but now we are there and I hope you’ll enjoy the new format of the site.
During spring I also did some deep thinking (yes it hurts…) about the function of the blog in general. When I started out blogging – 3 years ago, no kidding – my intent was to give more context to my photography work. A major aspect in this was to explain in more detail what I meant by the influences from East Asian paintings in my work.
With time, this evolved into a more general rambling about life and the rest and I started to feel that my efforts needed to re-focus. I still think, that the blog’s main function should be to give some background to my work and to be a space for announcements and news.
But writing has a curious effect in that it informs not only the reader but also the writer. And while writing, I noticed my repeated struggle to self-categorize my work. Yes, landscape is a major topic for me – but I also did and do a work that falls into other categories like “nature”, “architecture” or “still life”. I actually started out in photography mainly with flower and still life pictures. For a “landscape photographer”, on the other hand, I do pretty little travelling. I don’t seek out the beautiful landscapes of this world but stick to a fairly narrowly defined geographical area.
So, in the end, the genre might not be so defining for what I do but rather the way I try to approach subjects. This might require also in the future to tell about the context in which new projects arise. The blog, I think, is an excellent medium to provide such context.
Another thing I noticed through writing on this blog is just how close poetry and photography are intertwined in my head. This has certainly to do with the fact that I appreciate poetry that uses imagery – and often imagery from nature. But many poems can do without a story, they might be just reflections or flashes of insight. This, I think, harmonizes well with the “moment frozen in time” character of photography.
It really bugs me (even though it shouldn’t) that so many photographs need a whole page of text to add a story to a picture. I am not naming names, but there was quite recently a winning picture with a woman standing in a field. And yes, the field looked somewhat dry. The viewer was only seeing the back of the woman not her face. On the surface this was just a woman (I think somewhere in India) standing in a field. Only from the text the viewer learned that she was standing in her field that became unusable because of a drought that had gone on for years. She was indeed standing in the very place, where her husband in his desperation took his life.
A tragic and very touching story for sure. But the story was not in the picture, it was only in the context. There have been in the history of photography pictures that were able to tell a whole story (like maybe the “Napalm Girl”) – but I think there are not many.
In general, one shouldn’t overload the medium photography with things it doesn’t do well instead of using it for the things it does very well indeed. But, of course, these are personal preferences. I do have, though, the same objection to epic poetry and rather prefer the short and witted, like Japanese haiku.
So, as a kind of resolution for the blog, I intend not to tell stories that are not in the picture(s). But I do want to explore also in the future the connection between photography and poetry.
Hope to see you soon, again!