Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Below chance

My comment a few posts ago that "photography is 90% mental" may have raised a few eyebrows. My guess is that most people would disagree with that statement. You're supposed to take the photo when it "feels" right, and appreciating fine photos in a gallery is all about responding emotionally to prints. Does the work hit you in the gut or not?I've never felt this way about photography. I approach it intellectually the same way I've always approached everything. I'm one of those left-brained nerds completely out of touch with my feelings, and I'm ok with that. I'll take Friedlander over Frank any day, Ken Josephson over Robert Adams, and Michael Bishop over Eggleston. For me John Pfahl's Altered Landscapes leaves Power Places in the dust. You get the drift.

And this is how I take photos too. I look for form, absurdity, synchronicity. Emotion is way down the list, below chance. I realize it's a limitation but that's my composition. For me, a rough guess at photography's ingredients would be

90% mental
38% form/composition
33% f8 and be there
9% random chance
8% emotion
1% photos that actually work out

I realize those percentages don't add up to 100 but how do they make you feel?

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