In December I promised myself to not immediately ingest and edit my photographs. To let it “marinate” for a while. For the sake of more conscious editing and objectivity. Sound advice, sounds logical too. Also to keep these photographs more for myself. I’m just having a harder time with my photography. And sharing is making yourself vulnerable too. Even more so when it still all feels one directional. Uh, funny that we still call photography a form of communication though.
Okay, so marinate them. Strange word. We marinate food to flavor it and to tenderize tough meat. Marinating food may last seconds or a couple of days. But my photographs? Really? I hate it, I so deeply hate it now. Do we have any idea what we all suggest as good advices? A project, one camera one lens, a book, prints, editing by others, get out of your comfort zone, Canon, Nikon, believe in film! Did I forget the Fuji X-series? We can all make lists, easy peasy. You wanna hear a good advice? Stop listening to others, but I admit that even I fail to do so. You can’t marinate food too long before bacterias make it impossible to consume safely. And when we try to preserve food for much longer we just pickle it. And it starts to taste salty or sour. I don’t want salty or sour photographs, do you?
Back to that marinating thing. Last weekend I went through almost 2 months of photographs. A first edit, post processing…………. It did nothing. It really did nothing. There was no added flavor. And it didn’t tenderize it at all. It was hard to chew and swallow. I got detached from my own photographs. No excitement. Oh sure, too much excitement is a lousy advisor for a photographer. It is just a lot bunch of crap. Or at least for me. I killed the excitement, I forgot the moments. It is all gone. Almost 2 months of photographs. And all I feel is detachement. So much for that sound advice to marinate your photographs. It is all salty and sour now which sounds like pickling to me.
But what about your older photographs? You know, the ones from say a couple of years ago? You feel detached from those? No, simply stated. No! I still remember I took them, when I edited and processed these and when I decided to share them. All that makes a photograph for me. I still know what I saw and felt, because I kept those moments alive. Right after the moment I took them. Exactly that excitement that everyone warns you for. That overexcitement that should be your worst advisor. Or at least the lists tell me so.
Now I just feel numb. I try to remember these moments again, but it doesn’t come easy. Bringing back moments. Sure I care that my photographs are good. Good for me, so I don’t really care that my photographs are really good. I rather have garbage I feel emotionally attached to than “marinated” photographs that sucked my life out of it. Just for the sake of being really good. Does that all makes sense? It does somehow to me… I think.
It doesn’t make sense to me to rationalize photography. It is passion, it is all about feelings. I just need to convince myself to listen more often to my inner voice. Avoiding this detachement.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma