Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New eyes...(NSFW)

One of the things you learn in any good beginning photography class is to try and judge your images for what they are not what you want them to be.  In other words to detach yourself from the emotions of why you took the image to see if it actually works as intended.  To often when first starting out we want every image to work and end up getting attached to the idea of the image rather than how successful it is.  You learn quickly that being dispassionate can help you get better by forcing you to go back and revisit a failed attempt.

Well sometimes apparently the reverse is true.  Last year I had what I thought was a brilliant idea for a shoot.  Most of the time in my photography I am out and about and shooting in the moment.  Street photography does not lend itself to planning in advance.  You can't decide on the image you want to capture and then go out and find it.  You have to think and feel on the fly and react to what is around you.  Even when I do studio portraits I approach the shoot much like I do my street photography.  I react to my subject and try and find something interesting.  I may have a few ideas going in, but I always end up either finding something totally different or making the original idea better.

Back to the point.  I had a great idea.  I hired a model.  And spent an evening shooting.  The results were not what I had in my head. FRACK! I have spent a lot of time trying to learn from what didn't work, but I have yet to go back and re-shoot.  I will one of these days once I know I have a good idea where to go.  So after review the results from that shoot and working a few images into the vision I originally had I ended up realizing that I didn't have what I wanted and left the images alone for about a year.

Recently I went back and looked at them with fresh eyes.  nope still not what I originally wanted, but since my original concept required the combining of two images to create two personalities in frame I never had looked at the individual images on their own.  I had always looked for the combinations that would convey the story I wanted to tell.  It turns out that there are many images that work quite well on their own.  Below is one such image.  Let me know what you think and tell me what story this image tells you.

The moral of the story is to periodically review your old images.  They may not have worked for what you originally intended, but maybe with distance you can find something you didn't see originally.

For those of you that care.  This image was originally shot using Polaroid Sepia film.  It was scanned, cleaned up and adjusted.  I also converted the image to B&W using Silver EFEX Pro and then allowed a hint of the sepia tone to blend back in.  I know I know to some of you altering a Polaroid (or any image) is sacrilege, but for me I will always see the image captured as the starting point not the end.

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