99.5% of my works doesn’t mean a thing. Maybe you could think it sounds quite harsh and rude just talking about myself, isn’t it? Not really, it’s more a matter of honestly, believe me.
Since a few days ago, i’m checking again all my files, by the moment, 4 whole DVDs with, don’t know, two thousand RAW files or so? I want to check them, taking a look at what is really worth a second view, what’s worh being prepared with a good quality and editing for printing purposes, i decided to “jump” ahead and try sell my art by myself. Got some ideas…
You know what did i save from all those thousands of files? By the moment, about 40 photographs, and i don’t know if on a second look some will be deleted, first i want to check the rest of the DVDs containing RAWs.
Maybe all this could sound quite extremist, but i really need to feel pleased with my work, with what i do and with what i show, i need to feel cormfortable with this. Why?
On a first moment, at the beginning of everything, when child, so many years ago now, maybe back at 1980 or so, i realized of how magic photography can be, and felt unavoidably charmed with all those “magicians”
I grew up, a little, and turn both admiration and passion for photography into some kind of personal challenge, i needed, i wanted to learn, to do by myself with my own hands all that things i admired that much, or at least, trying it.
I couldn’t do much. Being young, interested on more or less expensive things and being part of a modest family don’t really give too much chance.
It’s just since a few years ago, in which i have a not so bad job that i was able to get little by little some decent equipment. Joining DA was a good idea too, it helped me lots to learn and improve by meeting great photographers and people. It’s just now that i’m doing what i always wanted to do, trying, learning and taking photography seriously with dedication and effort, doing photographs i always wanted to do or try and most of the times pleased with htem.
But sometimes, there’s “the fear”…
There are times, when i found myself drown in deep thoughts, about photography, about what i want to do and how i want to do it, and it’s not good, most of the times i want to throw it all throgh the window and give up.
And it’s all about what i consider art, a good photography, an outstanding one, something worth being inspired. I really don’t know how to express it, most that way, writing in English since it’s not my natural language and it’s hard for me to find the words. Let me try.
Take it all off, make your photograph get naked of everything, the camera, the place, the technique, the edition… It’s still a good photography? Be honest, it’s the only way to get it. Does it even naked from all that have still an idea, actitud, style? Would somebody recognice it as yours by taking a look? Is it something only you could have done? Or anybody else? Would you really, REALLY pay for it or hang it on a wall at your home? Don’t lie to yourself.
Let’s see, appart of what you’re searching for, personal search, fame, recognition or making money, there’s no doubt at all, the goal is more or less the same, we’re not going to get it unless our work and art becomes special, unique.
I love examples, that’s how i best express myself.
Imagine, you are part of a quite rich family or something or on the opossite, you’re a damn worker as me, worked hard as hell and earn some money, anyhow, you had the oportunity to get, don’t know, a Nikon D3? Dude, that’s a blast. You spent some time and learn to perfection how the camera works, you even have a so good lens, a tripod and all that. One day, you go outside and get some shoots. What a wonderful bunch of pics, they’re just great, perfect colors, focus, quality, details and everything, outstanding definition. Now, breath and think a little, despite of the quality of the camera and the photograph you did, is still “speaking” to you? Have “soul”? Because, maybe, you could have gone with a friend with a more or even much more modest camera and without having all that quality still he/she made a much more expresive and talkative work.
Ok, the man with the Nikon D3 lives in Paris, or, well, can travel to there, let’s make a great photograph, let’s get close to the Eiffel tower and make a really good shoot of it with my super camera, good angle, good perspective, nice, nice. Oh, too bad, thousands of tourists there that day were as original as you and did exactly the same, some with worst cameras, some with the same camera as you and some even with a better one. But there was a guy in the corner with a hellish point and shoot camera, just three megapixels, and he take a portrait of the astonished face of his friend while staring at the eiffel tower with the monument reflected on his sunglasses while “wowing” and some days after wins a photographic contest about originality… evil… Oh, I forgot, and your damn friend with his modest camera doing great shoots at his home’s backyard making exhibitions… mooore evil…
Let’s make something, let’s get a studio, learn about portrait and modeling photography and nudes, let’s get ready. You place the model, and she starts posing as they taught her on the academy, or in the worst case what she learnt by watching too much myspace profiles, mwahaha… you place the lights as they taught you too on the respective academy and compose some good photography by angles, composition and rules you had learnt reading lots of books. You had some great photographs but, nobody’s really much interested on them nor buy it, surprise, only in your city, a hundred photographers went to the same academy as you, read the same books and make exactly the same and their models…well, it seems somebody must be cloning people somewhere… You’re going to kill your friend and destroy his modest camera, he went to walk with another friend, she’s like an angel when she smiles and he captured it perfectly in the park and now it’s making more exhibitions and selling lots of works…
But the man with the Nikon 3D has a secret weapon hidden, he has a so incredible and powerful computer and lot’s of software and even the newest graphic table and knows how to and can make lots of edition and postwork to his photographs and of course, he’s going to do it. His works looks incredible and wonderful and unreal after all that but, shit, they bought again his friends works, he just was evil enought to make a bit of edition to his photograph to enhance it to the limit while keeping a wonderful natural feel to it…
Well, our man, stood thinking for a while, if he tries conceptual photography, he just could invent whatever story about the photograph and its meaning, its concept , and disguise his lack of talent with some kind of bohemian, vanguardist and strange senseless theories nobody would doubt because he’s the artist and they will look like ignorants or that. So he went to the kitchen and took some random stuff and even a teddy bear from his sister’s room. He went to the bathroom, make some random compositions with the stuff and the teddy bear, he set the camera’s timer, sat in front of all the mess like desperately crying and made a wonderful series of photographs tittled “the condition of a multicellular being tormented by the sensorial visions of childhood produced by its nervous system”, it was the first thing that came to his mind after taking a look at the works once done. He went to try make an exhibition but there was no date for it. They were going, once again, to exhibit his friend’s conceptual works, that bloody evil of a friend, was one day thinking about how things get vanish in time and then, throw a puzzle in the sea, take some shoots of the pieces while taken away by the waves and tittled it “Age and memories”
Let’s go again to seriousness, i’m really hoping you didn’t think at all i was talking about someone in particular, here, i’m just talking about myself and my own fears, big fears. The story is just, i want my photographs to be good on themselves, i don’t want them to be good, admired or apreciated just because i used this or that camera or because i shoot colorful things, “cute” things, it’s a need to go further, that, when someone takes a look at one of my works, he or she could see something far beyond all this. I need to know what i want to do, i need to know how i want to do it. By the moment, i’m happy with what i do since i confront and face i’m simply learning and my works don’t necesarely needs to be really outstanding or unique as exercise they are but the fears are there, questions, you know. Am i special and have something or am i just a monkey that can learn how to make things systematically? Would my will lead me to get things unseen or i’ll be plain and simply someone between thousands of millions doing just more of the same? Am i expecting too much from me? Should i be pleased with what i do?
Most of the times, this devil of a thought encourages me and puss me to the limit to have both brain and mind working 200% of its capacities, but sometimes, as i said before, it just makes me want throw it all through the window and give up. If your goal is to simply having a hobby, is enough, if you simply want to show what you do, is enough, if you want to sell, to make exhibitions, being popular and famous, you only have to be good, so good, or really good on what you do, believe it or not, depends lots on where you live, a small town or in example don’t know, Berlin? I mean, the bigger the population of a city is, the harder gets standing out. But when you feel a need of going and being further beyond all that things, when you’re searching for the real thing, what i call metaphorically “the holy grail”, uniqueness, is not enough, it’s never enough and damn, it makes you feel small, so frightning and “cosmically” small… even if it’s as simple as being searching for yourself and you’re trying not to capture the world as it is but to capture it as it is through your mind and consciousness as a unique human being…
And that’s just why 99.5% of my works or even less, doesn’t mean a thing. I could have been more extense on it, talking about originality, conformism and mediocrity but, what’s the point? By being honest, i must say, i really have not much expectations that people is going to read this whole damn boring shit about my “neuras” i’m not that special and i’m not really sure to which certain point people want to read or think about some aspects of their lifes, aims, ambitions, goals… you know, consider it more as some kind of exorcism exercise, since some time ago i’m feeling again the need of taking out what’s inside by writing.
Anyhow, if just one person get just here, to this line, after being some kind of masochist wanting to read a sooo very very very long and boring text plagued of grammatical errors, (sorry for this, i just told you english is not my natural language and i can’t make the grammar corrector work nor in microsoft word nor in DA through firefox…) take for sure you have my infinite apreciation, and a beer or a coffee or whatever if you come here. It will be great if people read all that and think about it next time when creating some art, when choosing works to upload, for printing, for exhibitions, don’t know, that’s what i do and somehow i think it’s the only way when you’re searching for further beyond.
Oh, i know who’s to blame for this, i have no idea how the hell he does it, but the few times i had talk to K, strangely, i always end with my head full of things like this…