Reflection on work, why a project might be a good idea.

How do you edit a project, finding the way of working. How do you think about a project, while you are doing it. One way, is to look at the work as you are doing it and reflect on your work, your images and your process or method of working. The other way, is to trust the process and not look at the work for a long time. Garry Winogrand was a photographer of this school of thought. He generally did not process his film, for quite a while after shooting the images, as he wanted to forget how he felt on the day of making the images. Garry Winogrand reckoned, that if he felt good on the day that would affect how he felt about the images, likewise if he felt bad on the day, then he would feel negatively about the images he made on that day. So there are two schools of thought, one look at the work as you progress and one leave it to a latter date and trust the process. But then how do you develop and and grow as a photographer?

 

Tony Ray Jones’s notes in the National Media Museum in Bradford, United Kingdom, has this little snippet, that we think is interesting.

Tony Ray Jones is a photographer whose work we will feature soon.

which I’ve reproduced here-

  • Be more aggressive
  • Get more involved (talk to people)
  • Stay with the subject matter (be patient)
  • Take simpler pictures
  • See if everything in background relates to subject matter
  • Vary compositions and angles more
  • Be more aware of composition
  • Don’t take boring pictures
  • Get in closer (use 50mm less)
  • Watch camera shake (shoot 250sec or above)
  • Don’t shoot too much
  • Not all at eye level
  • No middle distance

I personally think, that if you want to grow as a photographer, then reflection is a good thing to be doing. Otherwise, you will constantly repeat yourself. We all want to grow and be better photographers (don’t we?), so it is important to have this reflection time. Time spent looking at your work. Or even, time spent making work (images), that will shift you outside your comfort zone, and over a period of time, so you can be a more confident photographer.Our suggestion is to develop a project, that lets you have time for reflection, if you want to grow into a better photographer.

This is why, I have embarked on a long term project of a place, that is instantly familiar to so many of us. Oxford street has been photographed countless times and yet it still fascinates me.

Leave a Reply