Turning through pages of tablature, a songwriter’s guide in Martyn Joseph’s ‘Notes on Words,’ surfaces (after years) and has had me consider what I might assert as truth in how writing about photographs ought to work within any of our photo blogs. What would I say? Would I promote one way of going about presenting and responding to photos? Some core ideas seem key.
Photo Blog Writing Guide …
1. Within each photograph, reveal the subject in ways never before seen.
2. Get a moleskin and record image ideas within this idea journal.
3. Pay attention to how you feel at moments before, during and following image capture.
4. Pay attention to how the image resonates with each new edit of a photograph … edit and edit again.
5. Add words to your photographs, sparingly – get to the core response to your photograph.
6. Be honest about this image and you; posers present others’ sentiment ….
7. Dialogue with others about your images and theirs; provide likes and comments – find what’s key.
8. Photograph with others occasionally; they and their lens will reveal the world in ways new to you.
9. Snap the photo while you’re there – stop the car, halt your walk, stop your chat; take out your camera and photograph that subtle, subtle thing that your mind and eyes have recognized and wish to amplify.
10. Return to subjects again and again, photographing subjects from how you now know them each subsequent time.
11. Pay attention to good photographers – talk with them, listen to them; pay attention to visual narrative and image work in movies, in art, in photographs and the visual narrative you encounter in daily life.
12. “… Capture those special moments when life is amplified above the norm for a few seconds (Martyn Joseph – Notes On Words, 2003).”
13. “Go to locations that inspire – places from your past, places that will challenge you, [… take you camera and moleskin with you] (Martyn Joseph – Notes On Words, 2003).”
14. “If it doesn’t excite you it probably won’t do much for anyone else (Martyn Joseph – Notes On Words, 2003).”
Perhaps the other essential thing is the matter of being grateful for each photo found and discovered, for what you learn along the way and from who and for process – all that stuff that comes together in creating each new photograph. Beyond this photo discussion thanks, here, goes out to Martyn Joseph for each of the following – ‘One of Us,’ ‘Don’t Talk about Love and all that was that Edmonton concert at the Queen Alexandra Community Hall.
The road home last weekend finally provided opportunity to photograph this grain truck near Nampa, Alberta, the sides of its grain box now sandwich board, advertising (or perhaps better said as raising awareness with regard to) a social issue the world needs to know about. For me, the photograph is more about setting or context as well as that of articulating the shape of a vehicle from a former time; it has been something to see how far I could extend edits in shaping the image in terms of mood and tone beyond the factual/literal rendering of the image.
Listening to – Son Houses’ ‘Death Letter,’ Snow Patrol’s ‘Run,’ The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ Steve Miller’s ‘Mercury Blues,’ Ross Copperman’s ‘Holding On and Letting Go,’ The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Snow [Hey Oh],’ and Joe Bonamassa’s ‘Long Distance Blues.’
Quote to Inspire – “The photograph is completely abstracted from life, yet it looks like life. That is what has always excited me about photography.” – Richard Kalvar