Tuesday, May 19, 2009

plastic lens


As a photographer I strive to not having a particular style.
Which of course means that it's hard to get assignments.
I hardly get any, other than those I create for myself.
The narrower you define yourself
the likelier you will get work.
They hire you for exactly what you mostly do.
It's safer that way.

To fine tune just one thing and specialize
doesn't really interest me
as I see photography
as language rather than technique.
I prefer to speak many languages.
To make languages up.
I tend to simply make it up and figure it out as I go,
rather than fine tuning a particular approach
or color scheme.
Each situation asks for something different.
In my mind.

Thus I throw in a photo that I took with a simple
plastic polaroid type of camera with a cheap plastic lens.
Printing from the negative.
I did a series of portraits that way.
The film is no longer manufactured.
Whatever stock there might be left is hard to find.

You can do almost anything in Photoshop today.
But nothing you do comes as a surpising gift to you.
You have to figure out each and every imperfection
yourself.
In the days of more manual labor the material
did stuff for you.
Sometimes it made things worse and you had to fight it to
achieve a desirable result.
Other times little sweet accidents happened
that made the work more interesting.
A gift.
I actually try to approach digital
and photoshop that same way.
Which may be futile.

2 comments:

Lally said...

Your explanation of your technique could be a manifesto for many of us. I could say the same thing about the difference between working with a piece of blank paper on a typewriter and working on a computer in writing poetry etc. I prefer work that's—and artists whose work is—variable, and dependent on arbitrary influences that are of and in the moment. I too have been accused throughout my life of being too variable in my work and not sticking to one strength one perspective one voice one way of seeing things and writing about them etc. I was told it would cost me the big bucks and the big fame and that may be true, but in return I got the satisfaction of doing my art, whatever the form it took, the way I felt compelled to do it and dug it and thus have been very happy with the results even if not everyone else has been.
Keep up the good work, it has become a part of my daily routine and gives this viewer and reader, for one, a great deal of pleasure.

Tore Claesson said...

Lally, thanks for the kind words and good advice.