A few months ago i had some odd things happen when i shot pictures using the hipstamatic app with the Tinto lens and Type D film. I got some totally black frames. I moved on without thinking about them much, but when i was downloading my images to the computer they popped up again.
This time i gave them a lot of thought.
What if i saved these and used them to make digital images in photoshop by layering in images shot with my dslr. This got me excited because here i was going to take an image from an app that mimics the look of images made from early photography techniques and then take them a step further than that by mimicking the app that mimics the old technique..... I seemed to get excited about this thinking about the movements of appropriation and performance and really just always trying to take an idea to another level all the time. Then....
Well the ideas seem a little flat after all that effort--they are based upon aesthetic and a technique and not about the deeper understanding of an artist exploring a subject.
I understand that aesthetics influence meaning. Whether its a story about war or a fashion model shoot--the look, the composition, the lighting everything aids in the understanding of the work.
Even though I enjoy playing around with these looks, I sometimes wonder if its really what i want to be saying and doing with my work. Should I just relax and simply work on my images using a simpler process and stop always trying to push my look with these 'art-like' aesthetic principles? I guess its good to have these questions as an artist/photographer, I just wonder if it wouldn't be nicer if i had the answers, or at least some of the answers! I do know one thing--despite my reservations, I'm not going to stop making stuff. Probably won't even stop getting excited about these little things that keep popping into my head and into my lap. Seems to be part of me. Photographs and photographic manipulations by Richard Sayer