Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time Passes

Two months without a blog post is like forever in the world of these things. After Photo Lucida my photo production tapered off. Shooting gave way to production, entering in a few competitions and the general futzing around that seems to be a harbinger the desire to move in new directions. Inspite of the black and white work I'm fond of I also have been shooting in color. Some of which I like a lot, but I'm still feeling my way along. Until I hit on a recognizable vein I'm reluctant to show that.

Back in the day black and white was the hallmark of the 'concerned photographer' and now we seem to besotted with the ennui of the modern day large format color shooter. Their type of commentary leaves me wondering where the field of photograph is headed. My inclination is always toward personal imagery rather than reportage and reportage seems to be carrying the day even in the art photography community. Meanwhile popular personal work aims to dwell in places of low regard.

Recently I discovered a caché of photographs from newspaper archives from before the advent of the digital darkroom. Some of these go back to the 1920s and seem to taper off in the 80s. Of particular interest is the markings on the photos. The photographs show the work done to these photos in preparation sending them to press. They have grease pencil or tempera painted crop markings, written instructions for when they were to appear and some paint over subject matter that didn't seem to interest the editor. You see the thinking that went in to decisions about what to show or not show. Now days all of that is done without leaving a mark. I've acquired enough of these to at least put together a Blurb book in the near future.

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