Or perhaps I’m possessed again. The idea of getting back in the field to make photographs is rapidly heading toward reality. Even the idea of it is beginning to possess me. It won’t be the same. The time, goals, limits and expectations are entirely different. Some of you know I’ve been using my new Instagram feed as a portfolio of sorts. I started with my work from Sicily, which was created over a five-year span back when I was completely in touch with who I was as a photographer. I was shooting on a daily basis, thinking about photography every waking moment, and perhaps most importantly, my brain was in tune with seeing, waiting, catching, building, editing, sequencing, etc.
I live a different life now, but the first embers of the fire have been stoked. Plans have been drawn and now I’m faced with having to actually go and attempt to make something. One of the issues I’m having is story. What stories do I attempt? I’ll only have 2-3 day windows, and as you know, this isn’t how you build great stories. There are distances to travel, people to meet and convince and then there is the need to document the steps so I can share along the way. This is the price of modern work if you are part of the cycle. And these days I am.
Two days ago I made a portrait of someone I interviewed for Dispatches. I shot the portrait with the Leica to remind myself how this method actually works. That was all it took. The solid “click.” The smooth stroke of the wind. The clean, clear viewfinder, blank and staring back at me. The not seeing. The idea of mailing labels, visits to the Post Office, the wait, the FTP and seeing those images for the first time. Oh ya, this I know and remember. And love.
Of course my first ideas are too grand. Too expansive, and perhaps too edgy for those above me wondering how this all plays in to the masterplan. I’ve also got publications in mind. A new series. A new essay series, two formats running at the same time. A new story equals two new issues. I need design. Do I create a template so I can reuse for each issue. Yes, I think so, but should I do it myself or hire someone?
For some reason I feel motivated. Good. Like this is the right thing to do now. We’ll see. It will be slow, awkward and, chances are, fruitless. But I don’t really care. There are places I need to go. Things I need to see. Stories I need to tell.
It’s about time Daniel! Join me on my trip to Napoli! Going end of October! 🙂
I wish. My mom needs a new heart valve so I’ll be around….
this smalI Instagram portfolio blows my mind. I’ve seen these images before but compiled and compressed in squares make many other so called (colour)portfolios look pale. Black and white film and loads of real content wins all concours. I’m sure now.
I wish you all success, inspiration and strength needed for your next attempt.
Thanks amigo. The IG portfolio is working out so far. It’s made me think about stories. What I’ve done. What I want to include next. At some point I’ll run out of images and have to either create new or create a different stream.
Oh Daniel I really hope your mom will be fine very soon. My mother is not only my mother she is also one of my best friends! Send you all the best from Hamburg and see you soon!
Please pass on my best to your Mom, Daniel, I hope you both are trying to out-brag each other while fishing very soon.
As for the return, I can’t wait; especially if you are using film. 2 – 3 day windows are not perfect but patience is the key. I have an old cat that I just won’t leave, so my photography has almost stopped. I need time to get in the photography groove, to hone my eye and reflexes and that is a problem. I’d rather stop for now than leave my mate at home waiting for my return. I know, big softie. I’m still itching for a Leica M-A though.
Love your Instagram pages, might even join so that I can follow.
Daniel, first time I’ve commented, so can I take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy your blog, and how inspirational it is. I have a similar background to you in photography and although most of the editorial work I did was in colour (slides) the work I was most proud of were the self generated 35mm black and white stories. Next to me as I write is Trent Parke’s ‘Minutes To Midnight’ which speaks so deeply to what I love about photography, especially 35mm black and white, but I simply cannot get the look I like shooting digitally. I no longer have a darkroom set up, and I’ve tried processing and scanning, but for me so much is lost by not printing in the darkroom. I think I read somewhere on your blog that you are no longer printing in the darkroom, so would be really interested to know how you are getting round this now.
Thanks for taking time to write. I don’t print in the darkroom anymore but it’s due to having Lyme Disease. Being around the chemicals isn’t good for my body or brain. So, I gave it up. I can’t get my film look with digital either. Nobody can, but people have learned to accept all kinds of things in the name of convenience. Most people don’t care. Some do, which is why we are still carting around our old film bodies and shipping film from remote post offices. What keeps me going is small prints and publications. They don’t have to mimic anything, like silver prints, but are enough to make me happy. Some are made at the lab, others here at home, others still via Blurb/Magcloud. Some end up in the journal, others as correspondence. I’m working on a brand new series, essays, in multiple formats. More on this soon.
I’m glad to see you coming back to photography, wherever it takes you, and I don’t mean geographically.
Our best work comes from that which is close to our heart. Wishing your mom well.
Thanks for that. She’s good. Another op in a month or so and then back to the hard life! I’m looking forward to aiming a camera again. Not sure where or when but soon.
Jon, I too struggle to find a digital camera which I like and I’m seriously considering a return to film. What is tempting me is being able to buy film directly from the film manufacturer (Ilford (U.K.)) and then send the film back to them for processing, printing, and scanning to C.D. Obviously this is more expensive than using digital, although being out of the perpetual upgrade cycle of digital cameras may possibly make it the cheaper option.
‘Do I create a template so I can reuse for each issue. Yes, I think so, but should I do it myself or hire someone?’ – do it yourself, Daniel, and show us the process please.
I’m in the middle of it now……
Glad you’re shooting again. Love the Instagram feed. I hope your mom is good.
Thanks for that. She’s good!