This week I have been out photographing. . . a lot. Working on my series for this module. “Fences” This module has been the eye opener for me, as far as my work goes. Something has clicked, I have had cognitive breakthrough. That linking of feelings and emotions to the work has happened. It is a key factor, if it’s genuine, and I finally feel it’s genuine. Up until this point, I was faking it, there was no genuine link between my emotions and my images.
I made a technically ‘good image’ so to speak. I don’t have any problems in that department, I have been doing it long enough. Emotionally though, I was in a vacuum, pushing and fighting particles of air, that wasn’t even there, is the best way I can describe it.
I have been fighting shadows and phantoms my whole life and for once, I feel I can land a punch against something solid, actual. . . concrete. And it’s hurts, but it’s a good hurt, there is a physical connection, I understand the reason for the pain. before it was a fake pain, a phantom . . . not real.
I don’t like to use the word pain, however, my struggle has been has beeb just that, however, out of that pain is emerging a joy that I want, and will celebrate with my series ‘Fences’ it is a metaphor of what has been keeping me in, corralled, quartered creatively. This description here is a watered down diluted version, and may change over the next years of my life. However, change is a good thing, getting rid of old baggage, ideas, concepts, beliefs, ideologies, methodologies, and techniques that does not further the cause. As a quote from a travel book I love states: “Pass by that which you do not love!” I always wondered what that meant exactly? Here, some 10 years later, I understand it. Here are some images:
This week has been a breakthrough week for me. For the longest time, over two modules, in fact, I had a problem of putting together a series of images that is linked: in concept, idea and image. Up until this point, I have been happy with the singular image, and have battled with linking an idea with a series of images.
Anna suggested to start with a ‘micro-series’ of images that are related. This suggestion really made the task easier, because I looked at it as a small series, which I decided to limit to three or four images. I have always liked the number three, so I linked the concept of micro to three, and this made my ability to move into a micro-series of 3, or in my case 4 images.
I wanted to make the series in the confines of my yard, and see if it could be done. (an ego trip to be one up on Edward Weston, who limited his work to one square mile, at Point Lobos) never realizing how I was fencing myself in, and, not in a good way. Sure, it is possible to do…now what!
Related: For the past week, I have been looking at a cell tower that was constructed near my house (1/4 mile away, direct line of sight) and realized that the fence I have around my property is useless. The fence has served well in terms of keeping intruders out, but for the dangers of EMF’s and RF’s, (Electro Magnetic Fields ((RF)) Radio Frequency) it has no protection at all.
I started to think about this and figured that I have to figure a way around this problem, and decided not to be fenced in by other peoples information put out there on the internet and to do some research and tests of my own on the subject. By doing some EMF measurements on an RF meter, to measure the EMF’s emitted from other cell phone towers in close proximity.(this will be another project down the line) This way, by gathering information, testing, and making my own informed decision, this whole affair spawned the idea to make a micro series on ‘fences’ both as a physical structure and the metaphorical concept of the mind.
I decided to make a series of images of a wooden fence that I have on one side of the property, and another micro series on a rusty chainlink fence I have on the back side of my house.
When I started to photograph, the intruding thoughts started to pervade, about the idea being ridiculous and stupid. At this point, I would normally stop the project and move to another idea. This time, I decided to take the idea of former tutor Stella Baraklianou. (I will cite under contextual research) about failure and the acceptance and benefits of it.
I decided to forge on with the series, good, bad or indifferent. As I was photographing and forging on, I went back to re-photograph the wooden fence I had photographed earlier, later in the day. By this time the sun was setting, and through a crack in the fence, I caught a flash of sunlight. I decided to make a series on following the light (as cliche and banal as one can get) but decided to follow though. As I held my camera up to the slit in the fence and looked through the lens, I was transported into another world, of beauty, color, shape, line, shadow and abstraction (my favorite photographic genre) and made a few images.
I then went on to a second series of 3 to 4 images at the rusty chain link fence ant the back of my property. I had made a few images here in the past, but not a series. I made the first image of a weed head growing through the fence. Then wondered how it would look from the other side of the fence, so I went up and around to make that point of view. It was as beautiful but in a different way. The lighting was more top and the background a smoother shade of grey. Not better, but different. It gave me a perspective from the other side of the fence. The third image, is of the chain link, not the fence itself, but the shadow of the fence, cast onto some fencing cloth. So, at fist glance it looks like chain link, but once pointed out, it is in fact a shadow. Sometimes a little knowledge of the image can dispel many questions.
The last image, is of a shaft of wild grass growing through the fence. As I made the image, I noticed as much grass behind the fence, as in front of it, and thought: ‘Nature is not constrained by boundaries.’ It lives, grows and thrives, behind, in front, above, or through the fence. I have decided to adopt this attribute in my life as well as in my work from now on, and no longer be confined by the physical fence of my yard, or the mental fence of my mind.
A simple blade of grass showed me what true freedom is all about! This kind of philosophy has been with me always, however, now it takes on an understanding, that I could not grasp before.
The webinar with Krishna was very informative. She suggested that I make photographs every day. I said that I do, but she reminded me to keep it in the vane of series, and thinking about the images as a series. So it’s good that I am finally getting into the groove of working from and idea, instead of from an image that was made. This series ‘Fences’ was born out of ‘Yardwork’ and that was to make images around my yard. I am happy that it was able to be made into a series, as opposed to multiple images with no relation, which could very easily have been the outcome were I not guided this week by Anna and Krishna.
There are no wrong notes, some are just more wrong than others!