Musings on Photography

Day 8 – the Slough of Despond

Posted in Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on April 8, 2008

This morning I spent some time going over yesterday’s exposures, picking out the more promising ones and giving them a little photoshop love.

It’s a pretty disappointing crop and right now I feel like I’m banging around in a darkened room, trying to find the light switch. Struggling to find the balance between the dog and the landscape is not as easy as I hoped it would be. Fooey. At this point I want to take this wretched ‘photos during the dog walk’ idea, put it in a box, tape on the lid, and drive over the box with my car. Double fooey. It isn’t the individual photos that are dreck as much as the lack of cohesion.

However, experience has taught me that it always seems darkest just before the lights go out completely, and that generally the lights don’t come on until you’re completely in the dark, so I am resolved to just keep pushing forward. Eventually I’ll make a photo that will catch my attention and point the way, and so the only answer, really, is to keep making lots of photos.

The next task will be, I think, loading the z3100 with a roll of paper and cranking out a pile of prints that I can put on the wall and look at. Looking at things on the screen is just not cutting it no matter how many times I feel bad about using up lots of paper and think “I’ll just look at them on the screen.”

In other news, for about 15 minutes this morning I was suddenly possessed by the strange desire to convert everything to B&W. I’ve no clue where that came from but it seems to have passed. I expect it will come back and I will have to convert some images to B&W and print them out. Presumably doing that will either convince me to go with B&W or drive a stake through the idea’s heart. What I want to avoid is lots of dithering about which way to go. There isn’t time and it doesn’t help me feel like I’m making progress when these random ideas pop into my brain.

Kodak says the best plan at this point is to go for another walk, right away.

4 Responses

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  1. Gordon McGregor said, on April 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    maybe it’s the timing of your walk. There are few problems made worse by getting up earlier.

    Or you could always selectively desaturate them all and leave Kodak in glowing gold. That’d get you motivated I’m sure.

  2. Ed Wolpov said, on April 8, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Yesterday, when I looked at your contact sheets, one image made me smile. Today you posted it!

    Great minds…



  3. ejeschke said, on April 8, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Following up on Ed’s comment, I like today’s picture. Maybe you should consider the photos *telling the story* of the dog walks. There is an impetus, there is the preparation, there is the before, the during, the after. I think you’ll find a lot of universal human interest and cohesiveness in that story.


  4. Shea said, on April 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Hi there, Paul,

    I just happened upon your blog a few weeks ago. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your process (including the challenges) so openly.

    Keep up the good work!

    More soon,

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