At War With Myself

Over the last couple of days I've been feeling very uneasy about my recent path in photography.

I start, stop, start, and stop again. I'm beginning to believe that my current color photography is nothing more than a subconscious attempt at mainstream photography. Speaking academically, the photos good and safe, but they're just not me and I don't think I'm ready for that late life type of photography that plagues so many photographers.

I've always been a dark gritty photographer and painter, I don't think that's going to change. I'm sitting in a coffee shop right writing this on my notepad. Feeling discouraged, uninspired, and angry that I tried to sucker myself.

As someone who has a reputation of being so observant how did I not see this coming?

Maybe my attitude towards the current climate of the world of photography clouded my mind on what I was doing. Sometimes the ego of an artist no matter how small can do a world of damage to their own work. You can have mediocre success and then you begin to dream big, then the art world kicks you around and you begin to dream a little smaller.

This is why so many artists live a reclusive life, something I endorse. So where do I go from here? This is something I ask myself a dozen times a day. I've been conflicted on how to continue in a now sterile environment (includes center city) while trying to take gritty photos. Even seeing in the same manner as I have for decades I'm notting clearly seeing enough to press the shutter button.

I'm not convinced this is something I can overcome anytime soon. All photos lie to some degree but to use my method today seems like one huge lie which makes me feel uncomfortable. This confusion is preventing me from taking the type of photography I care so much about, if that's even possible anymore.

I have tried to experiment with my main camera which is a Fuji X100F which I purchased primarily for color photography but it takes entirely to long in Lightroom to get the photos somewhat close to what I'm looking for but it's still not primitive in nature like the original Ricoh GRD. In the end it feels like I'm faking my own photos. There is a chance that I might stumble onto a method that will satisfy me, but it does feel like a whole lot of wasted time.

The original Ricoh GRD is becoming quite rare due to it now being 14 years old and those looking to profit from its cult following which has dwindled over the years.

Another problem is that you can't just own one with just about all of them reaching the end of their life cycle. At anytime they can break so you need at least one back up. For years I've been trying to find a more affordable and abundant alternative but I have yet to find one. Remember I'm not into a lot of megapixels and super high ISO.

In conclusion, my brain is a little scrambled and writing this is a way for me to get it out of my head and attempt to organize it so I can work out a solution.


  1. You´re in a tight spot. That´s no comedy. I think about my own photography, where to go with it, more often than not. But my photography is more random in its style, and not so much bound in series or projects. For better or worse. Anyway, I sympathize with your struggles.

  2. If I lived in a more active city such as New York or Tokyo I could most like work in the manner my whole life. Philadelphia is a much slower place. This also has to do with the ridiculous expectations people expect from camera companies and the importance of equipment. Combine that with the sterile art world and it's academic style of photography. This world, this country desperately needs a Provoke type movement.

  3. Slow cities ... My city is perhaps as slow as a city of under a million is expected to be. But it is at first hand c l e a n and "safe", I´m guessing the cleanest and neatest capital of the world. Maybe. Stockholm is postcard pretty. Very little in the way of grit, filth, poorly maintained buildings. No vacant lots what so ever. People clean and very well dressed. Mostly good looking. No one smokes. Everybody staring down at their smartphones. And everyone is afraid of cameras. "Why are you taking my picture?" "What you gonna do with it?!" I´m perhaps exaggerateing, but not that much. Still, there are some good photography here. The photography "museum" Fotografiska have some very good exhibitions now and again - they are opening in New York City in October - and The Modern Museum. Anders Petersen has a major show at Liljevalchs, with som five hundred large prints of Stockholm photos, taken the past five years: "City Diaries".


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