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……
From the vagaries and ups and downs of life. I find myself recovering from surgery with time to reflect. Another Intersection of Life and Art.
As you read this I am on my way to the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix Arizona for a Consultation. But here is where The Story Begins:
On October 3, 2018, I was diagnosed with a “brain mass”. Vision problems had sent me to the Ophthalmologist. His testing and measurements of my left eye indicated something bad was going on behind that eye. He sent me to the emergency room, calling ahead to discuss with the Dr. what tests would be appropriate.
The Symbol of My Journey
(The Ambiguity of the Mirror from “The Artist’s Studio” symbolizes my Journey. So it will be the featured Image for these medical update posts…….)
When I arrived, they were ready for me and ordered an MRI with contrast dye, no questions asked. The diagnosis: Brain tumor of unknown type growing behind my left eye; referral the the Neurosurgeons.
But, there is also a back story: I am an 8-year breast cancer survivor. So I also (and for the rest of my life) have an Oncologist. He now enters the mix. His fear is a metastatic spread of my previous cancer, which would be a sure death sentence.
Weeks of testing: Bone Scans, PET Scans, CT Scans…………All showing no breast cancer; Dodged that bullet! But I still have an unidentified tumor in my head that needs to be identified so the best treatment can be determined. All non-invasive procedures exhausted, now it is time the the Neurosurgeons to perform a biopsy.
So how do they access that area behind the Eye? By drilling holes through you sinuses. The ENT Surgeon does that. I didn’t even get a black eye from this; but I do have a puffy face. My worst bruise was from the arterial blood pressure tap-in. Apparently when you have brain surgery, they tap an artery to have the most accurate blood pressure.
Biopsy Results: I have a rare but treatable/survivable brain tumor (Which I will name and discuss later). It is in effect a birth defect. It was supposed to be reabsorbed as my little fetus grew, but it wasn’t. And when that happens you have a little guy in your head that probably won’t be a problem unless you are 1 in a million me.
My Neurosurgeon removed what was safe to remove without doing harm. It was affecting my optic nerve (first symptom), my Pituitary Gland and Carotid Artery (the brain’s source of blood).
Follow-up will require a unique radiation treatment only available in a few places. So I have been referred to The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix AZ.
POSTSCRIPT: Ongoing, I will be taking a road trip to Phoenix (Dates TBD); loading up the 4Runner with my camera gear and film (bought for a cancelled trip to the Everglades). Radiation I know will be 5 days a week for 8-10 weeks. So I will be doing photography as I feel up to it and posting as I go. Exploring Arizona for that time and keeping OldSchoolPhotoLabs very busy.
I’m going to be posting more in depth commentaries on specific issues that affect my Perspective on Life, and therefore my pursuit of the Arts.
Annoyingly, I want to post these as Pages…so they aren’t hard to find. But WordPress does not post updates for page changes. Boooooooo!
So I’ll have to post separate notifications. These post will always be identified by the Eclipse as the featured photo:
My First Intersection was prompted by the dismissive attitudes of Tennis Pundits that I reached out to on Twitter, following the U.S. Open Women’s Final. To see how I make this Intersection, Read On! (Warning, might not be much fun, but it’s greatly watered down from my original essay).
What a moment to be on a ‘Best Of’ list……….Film Photography Blogs that You Should Follow.….. That’s a Real Win, and non-distracting. I’m on the list, so I don’t have to keep trying to BE on the list. And I made the list for Blogging Here, not on someone else’s site.
I’ll take that as a sign that Untangling myself from needless social media distraction is right direction.
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?
My “Roots” being a love of many thing, but especially Landscapes and Urban Landscapes(including interior spaces).
The Stairs and Ladders were an interesting Architectural Diversion. But, felt a bit forced. I don’t think I’ll end up making a book of them. At least not for a while, because I still haven’t fully captured what I’m looking for.