Wednesday, December 10, 2008

looking at pictures

i can sense pictures in my brain. when i switched jobs this spring and was suddenly confronted with the necessity of looking at pictures everyday again, i went through a period of transition where i could literally feel my brain working on them. like anything, looking gets easier with practice. i probably see a hundred images a day right now, and, to my tremendous relief, my brain no longer feels the strain of it.

i now realize that my lack of posting last year was directly related to the low volume of photographs i encountered on a daily basis. having spent my days reading shipping manifests and invoices instead of pictures, i couldn't switch gears at night and browse through flickr. the contrast was just too great.

my wedding images certainly suffered from the lack of visual nourishment. i watched a drastic improvement in my compositions from the beginning of the summer to the end. it seems the more photos i digest, the quicker my eye is able to translate to the two-dimensional.

strangely, my personal work from that time holds a lot of power for me. i shot consistently through my posting drought on a project that is still in progress and a lot of the images from that period are quite strong. so somewhere in my brain i was making visual discoveries, but those revelations were definitely out of everyday reach. the only explanation i have for this contradiction, is that the act of photographing is therapeutic. i pull from a deeper well of imagery when i shoot for myself, from a place better protected from the contaminates of quotidian life.

this is the pattern i have detected: the more i look at pictures, the more pictures i take, the more i think about them, the more i need an outlet to articulate those thoughts, and thus the more i write to this blog.