Thursday, September 5, 2013
A Maybe Conundrum
NOTE: I wrote this post then had a difficult time deciding where I should post it. I originally intended it for the GW-Images Blog but then decided that it is about what I talk about on the Photovisualize Blog. Tossed a coin and it ended up here.
I often mention to people that one of the things I most enjoy about photography is what it teaches me about me. You would think that at seventy-four I would know a lot more than I would ever want to know—and I probably should but I don’t. Well, there are some things that I know that I wish I didn’t but that’s just me. I do know that I am not the same person I was five years ago or ten or whatever time frame you would care to pick. Even sot in their ways old farts like me change whether we want to or not.
Well, I got into an argument with a poster on Photonet. Nothing unusual about that but I did come out the winner—maybe not in the argument but at least in the end because I had an epiphany. I do enjoy having an epiphany because I know I am about to learn something I didn't know. A newbie asked about lens focal length for shooting portraits. I shared my opinion that focal length is immaterial and some techno geek decided to take me on by explaining that if I would look at my photographs from the diagonal of the image I would possibly change my mind. Yeah, like I’m going to worry about such minutia. I look at my photographs from however far or close I happen to be positioned away. I am not someone that you can suggest should change their mind—I have made it my place to change everyone else. Okay to straighten them out. Yeah, that is pretty much what I told the geek. LOL
However, in the process I was browsing through the ‘portraits’ I call them people pictures that I have posted to Photonet. I realized something that I was not aware of—I am backing off. I often joke that if I am going to take your photograph I want to sit on your lap to do it. I do like working in close to people. I like to get inside comfort zones. I attribute that to the fact that photographers have an easier time relating to photographs than they do to reality and being reclusive, I needed that intimacy, that closeness when I look at my photographs.
I am not sure that is still the case. The photographs posted are in roughly a chronological order with the newer photographs at the top. Next to each other I have two folders, My Favorite Model, photographs of Janet and Friends, which is as it says photographs of friends. I first noticed it in the photographs of Janet compared to recent photographs of Alcy. The photographs of Janet are much closer—much more intimate. Okay, that can be expected because the relationships are considerably different. But then I noticed that the earlier photographs that I did of Alcy were much closer than the more recent photographs. Nowhere as close as the photographs of Janet but still noticeably closer than the newer ones.
So I started looking at all of my people pictures from bottom to top and they are all getting farther away. I find that interesting. Not exactly sure how to interpret that just now but it something that I will keep an eye on. It is simply not possible that I am becoming more reclusive—had practically maxed out on that years ago. Maybe I don’t need the closeness that I once thought I did. I mean, like I realized that I have not sat on anyone’s lap in a very long time. But I do believe there is a reason I am getting farther away and it is going to be interesting to try to understand why it is. Maybe it is age. Maybe it is preparation. Maybe it is premonition. Maybe it has nothing at all to do with photography.
I will make this statement. When you move beyond seeing photographs as the object photographed photography becomes really, really interesting. I am not sure you can have an epiphany if you see the photograph as the object photographed.