Robin Wong (wonderful photo blogger!!!) reminded me of this piece I wrote five years ago. It may be the second best thing I've written about photos.


Would you please read it and tell me what you think?


Victor Bloomfield said...

"The passion is in the risk": important point, effectively elaborated. But for most worthwhile projects (and even for some individual photos), the passion is also in the time. The time spent talking to subjects, making them feel at ease, gaining their confidence and participation. Your "Hard Ground" interview with Michael O'Brien on the sidebar is a perfect example. Taking the risk, difficult though it is, may be a one-time thing. Taking the time is a bigger, more difficult, and ultimately more important thing.

Anonymous said...

Agree almost entirely. As victor points out, it's also a combination of passion and effort (time). I kind of view that as complimentary rather than an either/or.

One other thing that stood out was the bit about art not being in the ordinary. I don't agree with that, as some of the best art and photography shows the ordinary from a new angle, to make it interesting again. Apologies for the semantics.

But, yes, a great blog post and worth revisiting.

Unknown said...

As you point out, taking risks involves overcoming fear, and that is work – hard work. It has taken me most of my life to understand how fear is endemic in everything I do, and by observation, in everyone else as well. Many deny seeing this in themselves and others, but that's it, they're in denial. Overcoming the fear, and taking the risks, whether to do better art, choose and build a career, or build relationships, is a major part of a successful life. I regret not having understood this much earlier.

You recently directed us to read an article on Robert Frank. A great example of a fearless, risk taking artist.

amolitor said...

I believe it. Art with a capital A as well as paid work demands a degree of novelty. Not too much. Not too little.

So you gotta try new things, and that's risky.

And, as noted, it's no good without passion. Some people can phone in the passion, they're like method actors. But it's still there if only in reflection.

Still, a lot of the time what I mostly feel is the work. I'm just a dope noodling around making little Art things a few times a year, but it's still this mixture of passion, of just going for it and wondering if this is going to be good or even salvageable; and of drudgery, grinding labor to get those last few photos, and finish the project. Dotting the Is and crossing the Ts seems like the second or third 90% of the work sometimes.

But without the work, there's no completion, and without that there's no payoff.

Honeybadger said...

Bravo, well said Kirk. I'm so glad Robin Wong reminded you of that article. As an aside, reading Robin's reviews on the Olympus OMD-E-M1, and lenses, helped me make the jump to 4/3rds. Thanks Robin.

Michael Comeau said...

That was a great essay.

What I love about photography is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone. The further I'm pushed, the better my pictures and the better I feel about myself.

I love this Jay Maisel quote: "If you're not scared that you're gonna lose it, it aint that great a picture."

roscoepoet said...

This is why I check in at VSL almost every day, your words are akin to my church. I am most pleased to hear your musings on the art of creating and am grateful for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post.