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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Your Process, Your Business

I am (frequently) on the record as stating that process doesn't matter, results are all that matters.

That's perhaps not quite right. Your process does matter. It matters to you. Whatever makes you happy, whatever allows you to make the results that you want, that's yours and you can love it or hate it as much as you want. If you can't make what you want without using expired TriX, then use expired TriX. That's great! That's what it's all about, really. It's you, working your way through your process, to produce results that you're happy with.

The thing is that your process does not matter to anyone else. There is one (1) notable exception to this, art buyers sometimes are rather fond of process. They value difficult processes and outré processes over more ordinary ones. This is some sort of extension of the desire for provenance, I think, and is a generalized form of "a real Vermeer is worth a great deal more than van Meegeren" in some sense.

This has an unfortunate consequence in the photography world. When you post some picture or another and note the process in loving detail: Expired Kodak FooChrome stand developed for 12 months in Campbell's Tomato Soup 1:100000, or similar, it feels like you're marketing to the art buyer set. Since the picture is invariably kind of crappy, the overall effect is rather lame. It feels like you want me to value this turd as a piece of high end art.

It's not, it's a turd. The reason it's a turd is because you're more interested in developing expired film in dilute tomato soup than you are in making pictures. That's fine, whatever floats your boat. See the second paragraph in this little essay. The result, though, isn't anything anyone wants to look at.

Yes, there are obviously exceptions, Some people make exceptional photographs and develop them in Caffenol. Not, however, very damn many.

Keep your process to yourself, unless someone asks. The art buyers will ask, don't worry.

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