Monday, October 14, 2013

It's About Trust

The more I think about it, the less I believe in single photographs. Don't get me wrong, there are loads of single pictures that have been made that I love, and that I think are fully freighted with meaning. It's contemporary photographs I don't believe in any more. This is mainly due to the modern age of a trillion pictures. Weston's peppers can stand alone, your contemporary peppers need some help in this modern age.

I don't trust the viewer of anything I shoot to "get it" whatever "it" might be.

I don't trust the artist to put anything into a single frame for me to "get" -- it might be there, but I don't trust the artist. I need to see a portfolio to develop that trust, before I believe in the idea, the meaning, whatever it is the artist is going for.

I don't trust myself to make a clear statement of whatever it is that I am going for in a single frame, which really circles back around to my lack of trust in the viewer.

Interestingly, to me, this mostly applies to digital formats. If someone goes to the bother of making a print and showing it to me, I am going to have more trust. It's the online digital stuff that I just don't believe in. It's so easy to take a pile of photos and throw some up there. They all blur together, they all look the same. If we're not aping Weston or Lik or Evans or Evans, we're aping one another aping Weston and Lik and Evans and Evans.

This is quite apart from the pretty obvious fact that a lot of pictures don't even made sense alone. Photo essays don't make sense as a set of singletons, by definition, and much of what we see on walls these days is really intended to be seen in groups, to reinforce and support the idea.

This doesn't mean I need to see the same picture over and over -- far from it. I just want to see the same ideas several times, so I can trust you.

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