Recently, I re-discovered what attracted me to photography in the first place - shadows. I have always loved the different qualities of light I have seen, but shadows really make the quality of light evident.
While going through a bit of a shooting slump recently, I decided to spend my afternoons seeking interesting transitions between light and shadow. This is just a way to program myself to be on the lookout for unusual light and shadow combinations.
Here is a bit of a sketchbook, if you will, from that first day.
I have been giving some thought to the purpose of my photography, and how it has impacted my practice. Sometimes, I think that I will just shoot as a hobby, without purpose - just finding pretty things and capturing them. Sharing them with the world. But where is the point to that? There are already billions of pretty photos out there. Who will see anything unique in that?
Sometimes, I think I'd like to shoot professionally. I would love money to help me add to my gear. I would love the validation that comes with an income. I would love the knowledge that my talents were valued by someone. But I don't really want the business tasks that come with it. I also don't want to be beholden to other people for the content and style of what I shoot.
Sometimes, I see my photography as a visual diary of sorts - a way to record what I see so that I won't forget. This is a valid outlet in some ways. I could use some help remembering what I see. I have also found that I see more when I'm thinking photographically. I would like it to be more than that, though. I would like to share what I see.
I've also considered editorial or journalistic photography. I could record stories and present them to the world, to inspire others to move. However, I don't believe that the world is moved by most photography any more. We see so many images every day, we become immune to their power. An image may move us for a moment, but we forget as soon as we see the next image. It seems that we can only bear so much emotional content at a time, too.
There is one person who is moved, though--the photographer.
If I look at photography as a way to re-imagine the world for myself - to prompt me to move, then I believe that some good can come out of it.
I think that this may be the same for other works of art, too. So many people are competing with other messages for attention. So many artists have given up any hope of conveying a message to the world. They are just trying to come up with novel ways to say something without regard to what they're saying, but the world is no longer listening. There's too much noise. Only the artist hears, and it's the artist who must move.
The world will follow someone who moves to make change and that is what we must do. Create art to inspire and move ourselves, then step into the fray, hoping that others will follow. If they do, the world can be moved. If they don't, at least the artist was changed in the process.
Like many beginning photographers, I have been guilty of taking hundreds of shots at a time and posting as many of them as I possibly could. I still haven't learned to "kill my darlings"--excellent advice from William Faulkner. I take this to mean that I should learn to let go of those images that aren't quite up to snuff, but that I have developed some emotional attachment to them.
I can usually identify these when I look at an image and say to myself, "this is soooo close to being a great shot. If only this wasn't wrong with it." I usually end up posting these all at one, or during a slow day.
Anyway, I wan't to limit myself in some way, so that I am not putting a mass of awful shots out there. My goal is to limit myself to one published shot per week for a while. I hope that this will accomplish two things: first, I will become more selective about what I add to my online presence. Secondly, I hope that this will help me to research, plan, and edit my shots more thoroughly.
I will also treat this as an assignment, or commitment to publish one shot per week. This should help me be more focused on a weekly basis. If I don't give it some thought, and I don't take many photos, I'll be stuck with a crappy shot.
So this is my first week trying this method, and I will post my first shot in a little bit. Wish me luck.
Hello, I'm Rob Amend, and I am a photographer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am in the process of rebuilding my web site. My previous site became a bloated malware infested mess. I'm hoping to keep this one running a bit better. Once I get everything in order, you can expect to find a variety of things at this site, including latest photos, stories, and project updates from my photography.