Forget what I said in previous posts. I may still have some sympathies for Laroque and Simpson and Johnston but I have reached a place where there are no more photographic heroes for me on the web.
Unless you count Andrew Molitor, of course1.
There are so many wonderful ideas on his blog, and once you start reading you realize what’s missing from the internet these days; the excitement that I still remember from the days when the web was young, when you could discover brilliance without the taint of money-making.
He makes fun of all the mediocre photographers which do workshops and proposes his own version; he destroys these pretentious and useless attempts at explaining “composition”; he proposes one exercise that may be the only thing that a wannabe-photographer ought to learn; he rants against Ming Thein with a mixture of viciousness and affection; and he writes some very true things about the current crop of boring and over-the-top photography that are all the rage these days.
And finally he writes stuff like this which hit me in the head:
He has drained the life out of the thing he pointed the camera at.
Now this is something I do not ever want to do.
the collaboration project
So I like how the guy thinks. Last January, he launched a collaboration project: I was in.
There was a theme but I did not see it (really). You could say I have overlooked the theme thing because deep in me I knew I could not follow any theme. I took the opportunity to force myself to go out and shoot something else entirely from my usual family photos.
But I did things differently this time. I sat down and tried to conceive a plan for these photographs, as opposed to just go out and shoot things that I happen to see. The plan was something different from following a “theme”; at first I just thought of some geometric forms that I could find and join or refer to in different photographs; a simple line which could be a lamppost in one frame which flows organically into a a trail path, and so on. I also decided that I had to do arrange my shots into short vertical sequences; a landscape of some sort made up by 3 or 4 photos on top of one another. Or something like that.
After a month of shooting (which reduced to a few hours in total grabbing my camera on my way to work or to the shops) I sat down and tried to make these juxtaposition.
I could not find lines or shapes or make satisfying landscapes so the end results morphed in something else, more freeform and experimental. I think the following may work better if printed small and physically arranged on a cardboard, but for now they just live here on this blog. If you are using a small screen try zooming out a little to get more than one photo at once on the screen.
There’s another blog that I discovered fairly recently. It’s another awfully-looking blog — which does not bode well for a photographer, right? But this is the case of substance over appearance once again. And maybe guys like him and Molitor are actually using all their energy to make good photographs or think big, not to prettify a blog. Anyway, it’s Blake Andrew’s “B” blog I’m talking about. ↩