Photography and writing

I have realised a few things about blogging that I do. I know we need to as photographers write longish articles or blog posts (for SEO) that are about 300 words in length, as google seems to love blog posts that are that long. I also know that the use of photographs is important, as it adds a level of the visual to a blog post. I also know that I should be writing about my subjects using keywords, that google will then pick up and help to raise my profile or your ability to find the site via google search. Yet, I find that I have to have something to say and doing this each and every day, I find, I just don’t have that much to say, in the way that I want to say it. So, I do not write as many posts as I would like to. I have a list of things, I want to write about then I start on them but for some reason do not get around to it as it takes me time to write interesting and researched blog posts, which I think is only appropriate. I like writing, but it is something that does take me time and sometimes a long time, to get something out, that I am thinking or feeling. Then to rewrite it, so that my ideas flow smoothly from the writing, to what you are reading. If I just write and publish without proof reading the resulting text, then what you would read, would invariably be gooblygook or just incomprehensible. As my mind and my writing tends to bounce around, as I think of things to say about the subject that I am writing about and then, I find that I am constantly putting the letters back to front or even miss letters altogether, when I type on a computer so it takes me time. Then, when or if I reread, what I have just written (mostly when). I find that I have created the worlds longest sentences, that have no punctuation within them. These sentences are then impossible to read and the meaning of the words is then reduced, so it becomes an editing process, that means me going back over what I have written. I then find that I have often repeated ideas, but from different angles, as I struggle to get the words out onto the computer screen. This then forces me to rewrite, what I have just written. This process reminds me of the editing process, that photographers should do, when they have made a series of images. We go and shoot a series of images on a subject and we repeat the images from different angles, as we are looking for what we are wanting to say or more how we want to say something about our subject. This is why, photography can be so frustrating to learn and do when want to be able to say something with our images. Without work and it is not possible to really communicate our ideas. All images communicate something, yet we are often unsure what they say, until afterwards. Which reminds me, that looking at your images on the back of the camera, with the small scale of the screen that all digital cameras have. This will give you a distorted perspective of what the image does (or looks like). I noticed this recently, when I was walking around the Sabestio Salgado “Genesis” exhibition, some images only ‘work’ when they are large. As in really large and some ‘work’ much smaller and this is to do with subject size within the frame and the way that you the photographer, compose the image. This again is about visual literacy, how we perceive images and how they ‘work’ for us. Is it something that we can learn as photographers, like writers, we need to practice and sometimes, something comes from just doodling on paper. As this post has become a doodle, that started of with a comment about how hard I find blogging, into an exploration into visual literacy. That to, is how photography can work for most of us, we start on a day out making random images and before we know it, if we are paying attention, we begin working on a subject that will make for an interesting project, body of work or little story. That we can put the images together and they just seem to hang together, because we have been attentive to how they seem to flow and the direction that they are taking us in. I like this about photography, the ability to let us transcend ourselves and to just let us go and explore the world. I was at Borough Market on Saturday afternoon with Rob Johns, we went there to do ‘street photography’. We found that it is an amazing place to practice, the art of setting your exposure, as the light is all over the place, because of the roofs there, but then we realised that it had been raining for quite sometime and we were dry, which was a positive side benefit of choosing to hang out there. As Rob was using a loaned Fuji X100S and I was using my Leica M and occasionally borrowing his Fuji X100 that he was reviewing. I found it interesting as we both where working differently, which is only natural with different cameras. Yet it is also amazing that we could see different things while  making images standing in the same location. I find  that I like to compose my images through the viewfinder and Rob was often to be seen, using the screen on the back of the camera. Each of us, has our own way of making images. In the same way as each of us has our own way of writing, or even thinking as people, this is what makes life so infinitely interesting. We are all different and this is why photography is able to be different things to each of us. As an example, often last Saturday Rob and I would find ourselves standing side by side and yet making radically different images as we where seeing different things this is why we all have a different style we all just see the world differently (see I am repeating myself). But is also important to sometimes to repeat yourself to make your point.  Making documentary images is like this sometimes you will need to repeat yourself, sometimes because you want to say something, other times because you are learning how to say something and you will need to go back later and edit the results to something that is useable.

more on these things later this post has rambled onto places I did not think it would go when I started writing

 

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