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Saturday, 25 July 2020

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Re 1000 rolls of film in a year: this means that the thing itself is presented as much through editing photographs as taking them. This isn’t original with me but I’m coming to find that photographer is only half taking pictures (or maybe even much less). The other half is selecting and culling photographs. This is another reason why an overemphasis on camera gear misses the point. A whole lot of time will be spent in front of a computer editing and selecting what best represents the thing itself. I’m still trying to make peace with that.

On your recommendation, many years ago, I bought Bill Jay and David Hurn’s books, “On being a photographer”, and later “On looking at photographs”. These represent some of the best writing on photography I’ve ever read. The conversational style, with the back and forth between the two, reads more like a chat between friends than a treatise, and in the best way possible.

: Nature and types of Kantianism
…the Ding an sich (“thing-in-itself”), that more ultimate reality that presumably lurks behind the apprehension of an object; or with the relationship between knowledge and morality.

Thanks for sharing the essay, Mike. Very wise words written in a very simple and direct way.

Regards,
Aashish

Thoughtful and thought provoking it is, but some comments might need updating for the digital age:

"Photography performs one function supremely well: it shows what something or somebody looked like, under a particular set of conditions at a particular moment in time."
Manipulation of images in the digital age is making this less relevant. Yesterday I was in a gallery looking at photos from an Australian (Christopher Sheils) that looked like what could happen if MC Escher had a digital camera and an iMAC running Photoshop.
https://www.fotofever.com/artist/christopher-sheils/1786

"The act of photography is a similarly private act, unlikely to be rewarded or even noticed by society in general."
Hardly today in our Instagram/Facebook oversharing world...

A couple of years ago Bill Jay’s Estate created a website, billjay.com. The site has the documentary mentioned in the previous Bill Jay post, a selection of his essays, his photographs of photographers, (oxford comma) and pdfs of all 12 issues of Album magazine which he edited.

As I mentioned in my comment for the previous post, I love Bill Jay's writing. This evening I watched the documentary "Do Not Bend, The Photographic Life of Bill Jay" which is really excellent. The filmmaker was kind enough to post a complete authorized copy on YouTube. https://youtu.be/wd47549knOU

Wow, splendid article by Bill Jay. I saved it for future prosperity.

I reflect on my own photography and I realize that it has evolved from gear for some theoretical "thing itself," to gear for the thing itself. Without the thing itself, all you have is gear.

I enjoyed reading Bill Jay's wonderful and important essay. Recently, I read "On Being a Photographer," which is essentially a conversation about photography with British photographer, David Hurn, and Bill Jay. I highly recommend it. There are no pictures, so get the Kindle version.

Thanks for directing us to this essay. I find it fascinating how often I find your posts to be impeccably timed for the moment in which I find myself.

So much in that essay to consider at this moment of inflection for the world, but specifically for a professional photographer who gets paid to photograph mostly things that are no longer happening.

There are many things that I love to photograph and I have greatly enjoyed those pursuits during the Covid shutdown for my own personal pleasure and artistic outlet.

But in the end, I am a professional photographer. I derive 100% of my income from being hired to photograph various things for an assortment of clients. Those things, those subjects, have mostly evaporated.

I don't need to earn money to be fulfilled as a photographer. My July Lightroom library for personal work is currently at 8,927 images. I've enjoyed many hours photographing subjects that I find riveting and visual. But I also need to earn a living.

I need to find people/patrons that not only "appreciate" my photographs, but are willing to attach a monetary value to having me work for them or their businesses. That is more difficult at this moment than any time since I started my business in 1997.

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