Musings on Photography


Posted in process by Paul Butzi on August 15, 2009


I have a relatively short list of photographic blogs I read regularly. Mostly they’re restricted to people who seem to either be exploring how photography integrates in their daily life, and people who seem to have found some accomodation and are busy whacking out quantities of work. Surprisingly, I’m less interested in the specific photos they create, and more interested in what the photos end up looking like as a body of work, and how the trends emerge in the work, are recognized by the photographer, and how that recognition steers the work in the future.

I have spent too much of the past weeks reading, and cogitating, and not nearly enough time with the camera in hand, out grappling with things directly. So it was with considerable interest that I read Colin’s interesting report on one of his “it’s sort of an experiment” doobrywallers.

Colin’s post was just the catalyst I needed. I went out yesterday, and made 56 exposures. Today, I went out and made 51.

Yesterday’s photos were all made with the newly acquired 45mm TS-E. Today’s were (with the exception of one) made with the 90mm TS-E. Rather amusingly, so far I have been exploring with these lenses wide open, trying to get a grip on their characteristic out of focus drawing. Both seem infused with out of focus creamy goodness, even wide open (where lenses often start to show the unpleasant blockies.) This is Very Good News, since this is one of the reasons I wanted these lenses.

Nearly all of them are horrid. Today felt different from yesterday, better somehow, even though at first blush the photos are worse.

I will strive on with diligence.

2 Responses

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  1. Anita Jesse said, on August 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    When I read Colin’s post, I thought it might be worthwhile for me to experiment with limiting myself to 50-something exposures. More often than not, I tend to shoot too much, then edit and process too little. I never learned the discipline that came with film. Many days, I shoot as if there were no tomorrow; but then, the files may languish on the hard drive (or even the CF card) for days or weeks before I view them.

    Still, the next time I hit one of those awful funks, I plan to try this. Just make 50 exposures outside my door and see what comes of it.

  2. Gordon McGregor said, on August 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    maybe try a Fibonacci series of number of shots per day, next. Variable restrictions on the number of shots you can take on a given day. Smaller numbers will be a painful constraint, larger numbers a painful stretch. Picking a good point to wrap around will help to retain sanity.

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