Make the Work 2
In Make the Work 1 we looked at taking photographs instead of making photographs and I used some pictures I made in the past day or two in Noli along the Mediteranian coast in Italy as examples.
In this one I will try to reinforce my point about working intentionally and with focus to arrive at pictures that communicate something.
I found an empty swimming pool on a pier jutting out into the water. Of course, there was a problem. It was closed and I had to jump a fence to get to it. It is often said by people wiser than I that , "ask and you shall be refused, trespass and you shall be thrown out". This was a situation where the "thrown out" part occurred but not before I got everything I needed.
This was simply so gorgeous I wanted it all in my camera right now. The trick, of course, is to slow yourself down and get the job done. This is a phase I have come to many times in a long career. It's got a "get er done" quality to it or better yet, a "Don't fuck up, Neal" .
At any rate I needed to sort it out, photograph it enough so that I wouldn't have regrets back at home later, to be thorough, and contain my beating heart that was eager to make the pictures, which I did.
Faded purple, deep blue, white and turquoise. Wow! So beautiful. Form, right angles, diagonals, depth and flatness. A Magritte-like ambivalence about projecting forward or receding back, and perfect soft light. Sometimes pictures can be such gifts. This was one of those times.
The clouds were wonderful too. These are just a start, of course. For me, the "completion" happens when I get back home and work the files and turn what I've shot into prints.
If you've followed my work awhile you know I seek to make things I photograph into series but I am not sure this is one as the subject was very reduced. For me the core pictures are the ones of the stairs. Perhaps this shoot will exist as one or two prints. We will see.
One thing I do know and it is something I can say I have been thinking about this time I've been away is that lately I have making prints in a standardized and somewhat formulaic way. Not good. Why think of each project with the same definition in terms of finalized form? It would seem to be important to follow through with prints in a size and tonality that are in sympathy with the pictures made. I will try to practice that when I return home next week.
On to Paris today and to Day 1 of Paris Photo tomorrow: Paris Photo.