This video has been making the rounds on a few blogs.
I’ve watched it a number of times and while I’m not a big fan of Henry Wessel’s work, I do like some of it. I do love the video. His approach to photography is simple, direct, intuitive, and very impulsive. He states that the present is ‘chaos’ and that is what he seeks to capture.
My favorite part of the video is when he talks about his working technique. In particular the time lag between when he takes a picture and then when he reviews it. He will take the pictures, develop the film, print contact sheets, then store them away. Some 2 or more years later, he will evaluate the picture objectively and decide which ones to print. In this way, he is emotionally detached from the picture. He’s forgotten, perhaps, the situation and the feelings, leaving the picture to stand on its own merits.
This started me to thinking about my own images, given that I have just returned from an image gathering fiesta! I know that, at least for me, my images cannot be reviewed objectively at this time because the emotional aspect of taking the picture is still very fresh. In other words, I’m too emotionally attached. Heck! I still have sand in my pockets from the trip!
It is somewhat easy to determine the obviously good from the obviously bad; however, it is a more difficult task to decide between those with potential and those that are somewhat weak when you still have the emotional side, or attachment. Each photo is a child to which you gave birth and it’s rather difficult to toss the children out. They are born from your creativity.
I can, however, go back start working on my 2003 – 2006 images and culling the herd … if I have the energy to do so. It would be easy/easier to make good choices about which images to delete, or perhaps better, which ones to print or to put into a gallery of images. I can see how this would work, but I can also see how it would be a detriment to someone who is doing stock photography, or some time sensitive work, where time-to-market is essential. I believe that methodology would work well/better for fine art prints.
Will I give my photos a two year wait before evaluation? I doubt it, but it does give me incentive to go back a few years and start culling the herd.
That said, here are a couple from 2004 that I really like.