I’M STARTING TO FEEL LIKE A PHOTOGRAPHER AGAIN
Two reasons for this. Film photography and printing.
For too long I have been sitting in front of a computer editing images.
By shooting film I have slowed down and only press the shutter of a camera if I think what I am seeing through the viewfinder is worth printing. The process of creating an image using film is long winded and expensive in comparison to digital. I have even started using my digital cameras in this way. Shooting less and being more careful about what I shoot means less editing.
By the way, by editing I don’t mean manipulating the images in Photoshop, something I do not do. By editing I mean sorting images from the hundreds of thousands I have taken over the years into some sort of order.
I’m not very organised and tend to flit from one project to another without bringing anything to fruition. That has recently changed when I decided to employ two assistants. One to help with my digital work from circa 2004 onwards and to digitise some of my work on film, the other to help with my darkroom work printing negatives from 1974 onwards.
I love to take photographs and to see the end result, everything that happens in between I find very tedious and uninteresting. When I started taking photographs in art school in Rome at the age of 18 I didn’t think that years later I would be spending hours in front of a computer. It was not my ambition to be a computer operator.
Recently I have started printing again, both my assistants have been a great help in this regard. Things are getting done. My photographs have started to exist. They are no longer just negatives, transparencies or digital files on a hard drive that disappear when my laptop is turned off. They are printed on paper. I can see them and touch them. I can look at them during the day and under artificial light in the evenings when they subtlety change.
Finally seeing my work in front of me has not only filled me with happiness, it has inspired me to print even more so my work can be seen. I am going through a period of renewed enthusiasm. I have to thank not only my assistants for this, their help has been invaluable, but also all my photographer friends who have complimented me on my work and encouraged me to do more.
Most artists will have have moments of self doubt when they question if what they are doing is valid. Being complimented by someone who practices your same profession validates you. Compliments from people whose work I admire seem to have more of an effect on me and put a definite spring in my step.
I’m starting to feel like a photographer again.