If you've been reading this blog for the past week or so you know I am in Europe for 2 weeks, spending most of it in northern Italy and ending up with going to Paris Photo later this week. Okay.
What you don't know is that I started this trip with a really painful back and it was marginal whether I was coming at all. I am so glad I made it as the back is improved and my friend John Rizzo and I are now in Noli, on the Mediterrean for two nights before driving up to Paris to arrive Wednesday.
The subject of this post is "Make the Work" and I hope it doesn't come off as a tirade or a rant, but for a photographer like me there are really two modes. One is taking pictures. This is really what everyone does. Maybe the photographic artist has good equipment, maybe a trained eye, maybe even aspirations to do something with the pictures beyond document a trip. But essentially, taking pictures, such as:
Definitely not art. Taken from the balcony of the place where we are staying, it uses photography to convey information in a pleasing, descriptive way.
Now we're getting to it, for the other way is to "Make the Work". Making work, or what we used to call "making" photographs instead of "taking" photographs implies: intention, specificity, thought, possibly research, often multiple shoots, integration, editing, sequencing, passion, commitment and tremendous follow through. And this is big, very big for many of you: making the work means "COMPLETION!". OMG.... so obvious, right? But for so many investment put in leads to disappointment coming out, therefore work not getting finished.
I will show some examples of Making the Work soon but let me extend the "taking pictures" part a little. This morning we walked into town ostensibly to get coffee but brought our cameras. The weather was marginal, putting out a sort of fine mist, but it wasn't cold or windy, so we were hoping to photograph. After coffee we split up as the weather was holding. I photographed along the shore of a typical riviera-like town based on tourism and fishing, happily lining things up and liking what I was seeing. This was pretty much "taking pictures".
Casual, somewhat intentional, a little passive, perhaps some description and even some saving for posterity too (I made the last one to show my grand daughter when I get back home). Certainly practicing, oiling the machinery (me) a little as I was definitely a little rusty.
Yes, I am an experienced photographer and artist and yes, I was looking for something to invest in. But clearly I am "taking pictures" here. Nothing ventured nothing gained. As I walked along and continued, I got away from tourism central a little and into a part of town that was a little grittier and run down. That was good. And then I got to it. As soon as a I saw it I knew this was where I could "make some work".
I'll give you one hint and then bring you into the work in the next post:
Clean, simple, great form, incredible color. I almost feel like writing about it will destroy it but, quite simply, what a find!
Stay tuned to see what I did with it.