For Better or for Worse

transits3_47

Transits III – #47

“I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”

– Diane Arbus

How true this is for me.

Many photographers talk of previsualization where they compose the final product in their minds before they snap the shutter. Perhaps I’ve never developed sufficient technique to manifest my artistic intentions exactly – thank goodness!

My work of late heads in an opposite direction – I intentionally use subjects and techniques which defy intention. This makes it much more interesting for me – there is mystery and discovery involved. Of course, I have something in mind in advance. I have to make certain basic decisions – what to shoot, where to shoot it, what camera/lenses… But by introducing variables I cannot completely control, I can enjoy the delicious anticipation of what will result.

There are parallels in the painting world. As a painter, you can mix media in ways that can produce unexpected results and, in fact, the world of mixed media in particular is full of artists experimenting with materials and techniques just to see what happens.

I think having your work ending up better or worse than you intended is just right – otherwise, wouldn’t it all feel a little boring?


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