Remembrance of Things Past

into the light, photograph

“The best part is: I’m never finished! There are always new angles, new shadows, new lights…”

– Paula Bachtiger Kling

One thing I love about photography is that the same image can be reworked in so many different ways.

For several years now I have been photographing the female figure, typically in motion. That work has evolved over time and, while each “generation” involves new photographs, often they really represent a new style or interpretation. I can go back and apply that style to older photographs, either shots I’ve already printed or shots that only work now, given whatever my new style is. The photographs are the raw material, awaiting the shape and form I give them, which can change over time.

Not only am I looking for new photographs to make, but I’m always considering new ways to interpret older work. I think this deepens my relationship with the work, because I spend so much time over the years with the same images, revisiting them to see if new life can be breathed into them.

So often as artists we work on a piece, finish it and never really think about it again – we’re eager to move on to the next piece. With my photography I am able to reacquaint myself with previous work, to remember what I liked or didn’t like about it and try to improve upon it. Reunions like this always teach us something of value.

How much time do you spend with past work? What do you gain from it?

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One response to “Remembrance of Things Past

  1. I re-work paintings all the time– or completely cover them up and start over– or leave a part and incorporate it into a new painting– and I paint in a series– in which I explore the same theme or content or subject matter in 1-20 paintings– something I encourage all painters who take my workshops to do…

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