19 December, 2008

Flora & Fauna

I think most of us photographers have an all-encompassing need to make pictures.

There is a big difference between BEING a photographer and dabbling in photography.

Dabbling is easy now, just buy some gizmo and start snapping. No waiting, no real cost other than time, after you buy the image making machine. No waiting for film to come back, not waiting to print, just bingo and you are dabbling. In and out, in and out, but without the need to really give yourself up.

But with most people the need fades, vanishes, never to be seen again.

But I think for those who become photographers, the need to make pictures suddenly becomes the most important thing in their non-human life, and by that I mean the most important thing beyond friends, family, life, etc,

But, even then, there are a fair number of photographers who put image making before ANYTHING else. The virus is that powerful.

They will alienate all those around them. They will fixate beyond belief.

It takes that level of need to really succeed in this business. Success comes in many forms, and financial success, even thought super-difficult, is the EASIEST to attain.

In my humble opinion, there are plenty of very successful "photographers" who aren't really photographers, but are really more marketing and advertising people. They are very talented at the game, perhaps not as much with their actual images, but are shooting all the time, very profitable, etc. But, in the end, you can never hide from the images, and within the dark reaches of the photo world, you know who the real image makers are.

And believe me, there are less and less making the grade. There are far more photographers, and far fewer are true visualists. There, I invented a word for the day. Or maybe that is already a word?

I'm not putting myself in this "visualist" category. It is not for me to put myself there. This category is where you find yourself, perhaps secretly, when someone else puts you there.

My point in all this is that I think you realize how bad you have the virus when you make pictures like I have here.

These are not even photographs, not make with a camera, nor are they printed on "photo-paper." They were not made for anyone. They were really not made to be seen, sold, shown, used or displayed.

I just made then, and not really because I wanted to, but more because I HAD to.

At home, restless, forever restless, and that need to make something comes along. It won't go away. That incessant need to go online, back to the web, to surf, like a shell of a hope that you will find something to distract you. But in the end it never does.

So you head out to the yard and make something. Anything.

The plants in the yard become your focus, the scanner your transition team, and Fabriano, uncoated, art paper your final exam. You make one, two, three, four, you lose count.

The phone rings, the email bings and it just fades away. Noise.

You have to get this done first. For who? Nobody. For what? Because you have to.