This image has been in my ‘edited folder’, for some time now. This ‘edited folder’ acts as a stopgap between, leaving the raw file in the original folder, (never to see the light of my laptop again) and deciding to do something with it, postproces and show to you guys. I like to have this middle ground as a reflective space, kind of giving myself some time to digest the images merits. Ironically, leaving the image there for a short time helps distance me from the initial passion that I’ve experienced when making the image, so I’m able to objectively see, (in the cold light of day) if the image transfers the same set of emotive attributes, (that initially brought me to visualise then execute it) are still present when you take ‘me’ out of the equation. This process is a way of attempting to empathically see the image from the viewer’s perspective, to discern if the image in its self, removed from my immediate perception, will catalyse the same emotions I felt for the real experience.
The process of reflection inevitably means that some images, that I consider to be interesting in some way, don’t make it past this self initiated quality control filter. By quality control, I don’t mean technical issues, (they are sifted out when I first view the raw files) but conceptual, compositional, unusual, dramatic, mystical, subtle, merit (I could go on but I won’t).
Now sadly this process, like my mind, is not totally organised, (I do hope I haven’t given a misleading impression of that here). I generally use my gut feeling to guide these exceptionally difficult editing choices, but sometimes for reason it’s often hard to put those choices into words and some images in this folder I’m just not sure about. Now I could just make another folder that is in-between the ‘edited folder’ and call it ‘almost sure this is what I want to show the world, but not quite’ but that would be taking my occasional challenging indecisiveness to a new level of obsession.
now this might not seem like a big problem to some of you out there, and its only myself imposed desire to present a personal vision on the world that is extra special to me, that keeps me worrying about this type of thing, ho yes let’s not forget the rewards from the fascinating learning process I encounter as a pleasant by-product. But I suppose what I’m trying to do here, is attempt to analyse, then organise my own thought processes in order to make stronger emotive photographs.
Some of you may think that I write so much in accompaniment to the imagery I present, because I want to offer my views, or help others learn from my mistakes, or to initiate debate, (and you’d be partly correct). But a significant part of the reason for writing this text is to try and illuminate my own thought processes in order to hone them. I’m attempting to reflect in order to develop. (On a side note I’ve long taken the piss out of people who say they are trying to find themselves, but it appears that I’m now one of those people, so joke away!)
This complex set of personal, often subconscious filters, from where to soot, what time of day, how to compose, what subjects we choose, what equipment, what environment, what season, to what we decide to edit, how we edit, how when then present it and what text goes along with it, (to name a few), all ensure that we present only the imagery that fits our current artistic vision.
Furthermore by analysing this process in depth, I feel that I’m able to feed the reflected ideas back into the subconscious decisions I take whilst on location, to make the subconscious coconscious and artistic vision constructively directed.
Anyway this image was taken at Sandsend a few weeks ago. The conditions were perfect, (for my current artistic vision), as it was very stormy and the low light and heavy clouds, offered a wonderfully dramatic setting. Now as you can imagine I was excited to explore this photographically and quickly began working before the fast moving circumstances changed. Then unusually for this beach, I happened on another photographer, who began to set up his large format camera in my profiroll vision. now because the conditions were so special, I didn’t go over and talk to him, as I usually would have, but continued working and told myself that when the rainbow disappears id go over and reflect on the amazing circumstances. Now as this conflict was working its way thought my mind, it began to rain. I didn’t care, as I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t want to end the experience, but secondly, I was already wet through from being just that bit too deep in the sea, for the waves to stay beneath my wellies. Anyway when it began spitting, the for mentioned large format photographer, packed up and disappeared before I could break off and have a chat.
Now I respect that camera equipment and water don’t mix, especially sea water, and that due to the very dark clouds, there may have been good reason to assume that the heavens were about to open. So I understand the other photographer’s decision to make for his car, but I don’t understand that in such fantastic conditions, an obviously committed large format photographer (well so I assumed from the size of his expensive gear), not wanting to seize the moment. I wish I could have had a chance to talk to that guy, and who knows it might be you, but if it is, you missed a great opportunity to feel the rawness of nature. Anyway I wonder what you thought of me on that day? Maybe I will one day find out (o: