Musings on Photography

About those photos

Posted in art is a verb, web issues by Paul Butzi on April 7, 2008

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It’s probably time for a refresher about the photos I put at the top of the posts here.

As I pointed out in this post, unless it’s specifically mentioned in a post, the photo at the top has no particular relation to the text in the post.

The photos are just taken, based on the whims of the moment, from a pool of recent and not so recent photos that I keep handy, sized for the blog and with the copyright border attached. The photo is often chosen before I even decide what I’m going to write about, although equally often I sit down with the intent to write about some specific subject. Because this process of photo selection is not very carefully controlled, I’ve noticed that I sometimes post a photo twice. That doesn’t have any significance other than highlighting that I make mistakes.

The photos are also not intended to be a display of ‘winners’. Often I’ll use a photo which I think is a loser in some interesting way, or a photo I think is not quite right but worthy of attention because it’s different from what I’ve been doing, or it’s different from my other stuff, or… just interesting in the way it doesn’t quite work. Sometimes they’re photos I wanted to notice particularly because they have some idea in them I found interesting.

And, of course, some are photos I think are winners. You don’t know which ones, because I usually don’t discuss it. When I first started blogging, I wanted to post only winners. It took only a few moments to realize that that wasn’t nearly as interesting as posting works in progress, photos which are sketches for further development, and the occasional puzzling “I thought this was an interesting idea but it doesn’t quite work. Isn’t that interesting?” photo.

I’m guessing that this has a lot to do with my ‘Art is a verb’ attitude. I’m no different from anyone else, and I get a lot of reward from the photos that make me say “Yes! Finally got it right!” but I’ve discovered that I also get a lot of reward out of looking at the photos which are honks and trying to puzzle out why, or looking at photos that that make me sit back in my chair and say “That’s cool. Where the heck did that come from?”

Anyway, this is a bit different from how photos are used on most other photography blogs, so I thought it was worth pointing out once a year or so.

2 Responses

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  1. Martin Doonan said, on April 8, 2008 at 2:04 am

    This post and your previous one make me realise I have a long way to go: you’re busy rejecting stuff that I’d be quite happy keeping.

  2. Sean said, on April 8, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve been marveling over your “honkers”, I guess. I’d be hard pressed to point out the ones that aren’t winners.


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