There is a distinct advantage to going somewhere new, seeing things for the first time. There’s an initial overwhelming stage of trying to get the sense of the place and getting the pictures that capture where you are. After a while though, you start to look closer.
One of the benefits of this experience in Florence, Italy, has been giving me a chance to shake off the routine and to look at what’s around me. Not just to look, but to see and along the way to think about what I’m seeing. I’ve been thinking about the work of other photographers and their use of light/composition/moment. The perfect moment doesn’t always happen just as you arrive with a camera. Sometimes it’s recognizing the scene and what makes it a picture. Or just seeing a pattern of light and waiting. Someone is going to walk in or out of that light. What do you want to say? Is that person coming out of the darkness? Or heading into it? Patience….
“Photographs will offer indisputable evidence that the trip was made, the program was carried out, that fun was had.”
“Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.”
– Susan Sontag, On Photography (1977)
Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
At least it doesn’t say continuous.
It’s been a while. A stressful semester overall wound up with a frantic push to finish grades while preparing to lead an overseas study program for the School of Journalism. I’m afraid that while the vision didn’t waver, putting that vision into words took a back seat.
It’s difficult to pick up in the same vein. I’ve been trying to figure out what the next topic should be, and there are so many. Another couple of photojournalists killed. New views of World War I uncovered. Agencies that have represented the elite of photojournalism redefining themselves and experimenting with different ways to raise capital.
But then it became apparent that the main thing was to get rolling again. It also became apparent that not everything has to be a “deep thought” about photography. Sometimes sharing what others have written, or just putting something of my own out there reflects the persistent vision. So, in spite of difficulty I obstinately return to the keyboard. There is more to write about. In the meantime, a view from Florence, Italy.