Going back to 2012 for these 35 mm B&W images:
A quote from Linda Ronstadt:
“You do it for the work. If you are doing it for the prizes, you are in big trouble”
and a Quote from Cole Thompson:
“In the past I’ve considered those accolades as the evidence of my success, but I now think differently. My success is no longer measured by the length of my resume, but rather by how I feel about the art that I create. While I do enjoy exhibiting, seeing my work published and meeting people who appreciate my art, this is an extra benefit of creating, but not success itself.”
I’ve been through this thought process before. But this time a different twist. Now showing will be going dark for a while. I haven’t deleted it. Just hidden. As I mentioned before, I always get the sam level of award. They know I’m good enough to deserve some attention, but my personal style and personal vision are obviously NOT in vogue right now. So do I stick with what I enjoy or literally ‘shoot for the hip and trendy’?
My husband recently found an interesting blog post on this very subject by Ellen Borggreve. From “Photography is not a Competition”:
“Even though there are photographic competitions, photography itself and art in general is not a competition. In the creative process there is no finish line, no competitors, no comparison. All creative endeavours are in their essence subjective, personal and incomparable. Yet the modern digital reality has created this sense of urgency and competition which I feel is hugely detrimental to art.”
Honestly I wouldn’t know how to shoot for the ‘hip and trendy’ because I do photography to make myself happy. As Comfort and a personal creative outlet. I find online activities like the recent #camerachallenge add some spice and allow me to interact with more like-minded photographers. I will be keeping my Publications Page, because that actually does matter.
If I enter a contest I will still post the results here. But no more “Now Showing” because I don’t want THAT to be my focus……..And what people on Twitter, Instagram, Blogspot or WordPress find interesting, may not be what’s interesting TO ME.
Sacred Datura from my Garden; Kodak T-MAX 400; cropped from a Mamiya 645 frame with 80 mm Macro Lens.
You can follow The Littlest Holga on Twitter (@Littlest_Holga). Probably the most successful thing I’ve ever done with on-line photography was sending a Purple Fluorescent Holga to @Givemeabiscuit (on Twitter) as part of my first EMULSIVE Secret Santa. Half serious and half a joke, Holga was at that time going out of business. So I thought it would be a good gift.
Now Littlest Holga travels the world making fun and fabulous images. Holga was my introduction to medium format during an Experimental Photography class in Monterey. I was so inspired by Holga that I chose to use it for my first 6 months of the 52 Rolls Project. So here are a few of my recent Holga Favorites…..
And Early Holgas from that Experimental Photography Class:
And an image made using the Fisheye lens gift that I received from my first Secret Santa…….
And Below….My Holga Panorama Pinhole……..
Imagining the Image: What happens when I think before I shoot? I’ve heard this in workshops; see the image first. But usually the workshop leader drifts off into concepts of composition………
And that misses the point. I have had one particularly good workshop with Cole Thompson, where we discussed seeing what you want the final image to be, and how to capture the image towards that end. Really Imagining the Image….First!
*(Cole’s discussion of personal vision is also excellent…take a workshop with him if you get the chance. I don’t endorse many people like this).
Reflecting on some recent photographic success, I found that for ALL of these images, without exception, I SAW the image BEFORE I captured it! Even without realizing. I had pre-visualized. Everything on my “Now Showing Page” and some not there (that I personally consider successful), were all made that way. So I’m adding some favorites here (some blasts from the early days included), where Pre-visualization really was the key to personal satisfaction for me. And the stories behind the image……..
This Kiva I had visited years before. Taken a few quick tourist images and moved on with my Road trip. I wanted to revisit those images and they were ‘lost’ in 20+ years of disorganization. They were also color 35 mm and I was doing B&W now. So when I had the opportunity to revisit this site, with a photographic concept in mind, this was the result:
So inspired by Jason Avery’s #filmtober Question #27 “What do you look for when on location for a photo?” Over the next several months, I will pursue the story behind my images. These will all be tagged as Intersections and The Story……
The Story Image Collage #1:
Now Showing at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and sponsored by the Denver Architectural Foundation:
After discussing the “Contest Trap” in previous posts….. of course I have just entered another contest for the Denver Architecture Foundation, sponsors of Doors Open Denver. My interests in the contest was two-fold: I’m a member of DAF and the co-sponsor Colorado Photographic Arts Center (aka CPAC, and unfortunate acronym): I love photographing Architecture…….Also it was open to any architecture within the Denver City limits, no stated time limit. So although the Clock Tower was taken at a DAF Open House, none of the images are from the actual Doors Open Denver Event.
I tried to avoid cliched images….Did I Succeed?
My Expectation is that I will again fall into the “Special Merit Category” which means, OK but not our style……..
Above, three recent but very different images that I had submitted to an online Gallery. Two are very recent, but the Apache Plume is from about 12+ years ago. So what does that say about my photography skills, style and personal vision. Keeping in mind that vision and style are not synonymous. These represent different styles, but I think a similar vision in regards to how I see the light and what attracts my eye.
All of these images received a similar ranking (details here). That soul destroying ‘Special Merit” category that keeps you wanting more. So what does “special merit” mean anyway? Have I not progressed at all in 12 years? Or are my interests and vision not the current hip and trendy thing? (I think the latter) So I’ll get recognition, but never actually win a contest? (One of my recent submissions is going to be published in a book this year. But that’s another story……..). And what is winning?
My middling success for a while sent me down “The Rabbit Hole” as I discussed recently on my photo diary. So I’m reflecting, reorganizing and redirecting my energies. At a recent Personal Vision Workshop with Cole Thompson, we discussed how winning can actually be a setback to the progress towards understanding our personal vision; leading us to pursue the WIN rather than the VISION. Small rewards can seriously sidetrack real goals and personal accomplishments.
Who are you making photographs for? Yourself or the win?