(More) Street Photography and Stuff (Lots of Stuff)

‘ere I am, J.H.

… said Mr. Helpman in Terry Gilliam’s film 80’s classic ‘Brazil’.

‘Ere I am in my 37th year on this planet looking rather haggard and after only 2.5 years of interrupted sleep (Anna) and long hours looking into glowing VDU’s of any kind.

Now, ‘ere I go again with more of my version of what I think Street Photography looks like and thoughts on being a ‘creative’ person.

I’ll guess that about 0.5% of these photos are my own vision and my own idea, the rest is probably what the internet or photography books told me it should be.

I’ve heard it said across a few mediums that “everything has been done” and that there’s no more true originality. Everything has been done.

You could believe this if you only listened to mainstream media outlets, e.g. mainstream music trumpets like X-Factor and daytime radio stations where almost every ‘artist’ or performer appears to sound like each another. ‘Homogenous’.

Mainstream film as well, and by mainstream I mean Hollywood. The staple diet of predictable (reliable?) plot arcs targeted at consumer groups like age and gender.

It reached that point when some studios introduced pre-showings of uncompleted films to gauge the audience response then use that data to correct the direction of the film.

If everything has been done, why do anything at all?

(I liked the dark space to the left on the lady running picture below)

That isn’t a leading question by the way, I’m genuinely asking.

I don’t think I’ve ever stopped myself and asked why I do what I do.

Why I drew all those millions of drawings, painted the thousands of paintings I’ve made over the years and the millions of photos I’ve taken.

I think my answer hovers around the act of ‘doing’. I get a lot of joy from creating an image, and by image I mean a drawing or painting. That was what I did for the longest period of my life and when that desire left, a bit of me left too.

I believe photography is filling that ‘making a thing’ gap but it’s actually more like a drug that quickly wears off where as painting was more like heroin (if heroin lasts a long time that is).

Another thing, creativity for me only lasts short periods of time before it burns out and needs to recharge.

When I was at art school I used to do about 5 separate life drawings in a single class but by the time I got to drawing number 5 the quality suddenly deteriorated to utter garbage (by my standards anyway).

When I’m out taking photos I see what I want and try to get it but by the end of the day or by the next day I can’t take photos anymore and everything ‘sucks’.

I believe that when I can have a darkroom space at hand I can stretch beyond the negative and the computer, maybe even leave digital in the dirt, and get a more rounded appreciation for photography as art via printing.

I have images in my head of what I’d like to do but the more I think of them the more they look like other people’s ideas though I can’t yet point to whom.

I know I need to try wet plate before I leave this earth and I also have grand designs on doing a series of nudes, but how I do that? I’ve no idea, and it’s all been done already. Good and bad. Wet plate and nudes would be great but it’s been done and brilliantly so by Ed Ross, wet plate 3D boobs book? 3D boobs, that’s also been done.

I remember a number of years ago popping in by my old art school, Duncan of Jordanstone, and seeing a guys degree show in which his artist statement was “My art is whatever you want it to be”. I’ve always loved that expression. “I bring the pictures, you do the rest”.

I think I’ve overstayed my welcome in the consciousness of whomever is still reading this so I’ll leave it here for now with no finishing monologue that will answer my questions.

In the next post I will try to have an answer or it’ll just be a gallery.

Until then …


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