Time For A Change
Photography ain’t what it use to be. Photography equipment ain’t what it use to be. Photography prints ain’t what they use to be. Photographers ain't what they use to be
I’ve grown frustrated with just about every aspect of photography and it being taken seriously has diminished quickly with the introduction of the smartphone, social media and computational photography which allows a person to not know a fucking thing about photography because of the smartphone or 50 megapixel cameras abilities to fix all their mistakes and lack of knowledge. This is why so many of todays photographs all look like they could have been taken by the same person.
Besides ridiculous megapixel counts the size of photographic prints have reached new heights. The only real purpose for these massive prints is so photography can complete with paintings on the art market. Galleries, art schools and even photographers themselves have fallen for it. Well, that and those who are more interested in decor above their sofa. There was a time when a dozen of the worlds greatest and most expensive prints could fit inside a folded newspaper. For me prints that measure in yards and feet have a cheap poster feel to them.
How is all this effecting me? First it’s created a hatred towards most of the internet, the camera manufactures, galleries and museums. It’s had a calming effect that also has to due with me aging. I no longer feel it necessary to self promote past my comfort level or have the need to complete a project before the soulless copycats emerge. I don’t give a crap about what print sizes people want because I’ll sell only the sizes I want to with no regrets.
Somebody recently told me that I had to stop thinking of myself as a photographer. He said "You paint and draw using multiple disciplines and styles so why should your photography be any different. That's being an artist."
As I've stated before I'll always take snapshots of Bob's Diner as long as both the diner and myself are still around. My recent move to using Fuji's Instax wide cameras and film is a move to simplicity and towards small single prints. The subject matter is limited and it's not something I use more than one day a week and while it's very satisfying I still need that everyday photography chance to happen. I’ll be only carrying around my 11 year old 4 megapixel Canon G2 camera until June when the weather gets warmer and people return to Devil’s Pool where I can finish that project by the end of Summer. Even then there’s no guarantee that I’ll need anything other than my small old camera to take the daily photos that I want. My goal is to make the snapshot into an art form and all the photos in this post were taken with my Canon G2.
I’ve ranted before about the dulling down of this country and this disappearing of color to be replaced with black, white, gray and beige. A nation of iZombies where everything has been hyper-normalized. Even those who were calling me old or a curmudgeon are now agreeing with me. It’s amazing what you’ll notice when you look up from your smartphone, now imagine not owning one. Sadly this revelation has caused many photographers who I know to only promote or try to sell their oldest photos, trying to use nostalgia to their advantage. Many older iconic photographers have given up taking new photos for this same very reason. There are a few in that first group who have made that decision for the sake of survival. So how do you get photographers, collectors and the art world to take a step back, take a deep breath and realize that big is not better when it comes to photography and art?
I have no project in mind with this and no theme. I’m not seeking any publicity or internet approval or fame. If someone wants a print it will be on 8.5x11” paper with a minute chance of 11x14” if I feel like it. This is me taking control of my art without any compromising. The internet in all its glory has made too many artists compromise with its hype, working for exposure, working for free, forgoing ethics and trading money for likes which don't pay the bills or buy art supplies. It's brainwashed artists into copying what's trending in the art market and those on social media who are so called influencers. It's bullied artists into taking social issue stances or suffer the consequences of being cancelled. It's a joke.