Monday, August 31, 2009

Present-Indicative

Two people asked me recently - each without knowing the other - why I have stopped shooting digital images. I answered, even though I admitted even while answering that I was just trying out various statements, that I was talking out loud to get to the truth. Because I didn't actually know.

But tonight, looking through my newest sets of film, I do know. I know why I haven't picked up my digital camera.

Because I stopped making accidents. I made lots of joy and surprises and lots of blurred images and risks, and I even tried lots of things that didn't work. But shooting digitally gave me too many options to redo the shot, gave me too many opportunities to try again for a second shot, to make the fifth shot better, to make it perfect by ten if ten is what it took.

None of that is inappropriate. Improving everyday is what any craft is about, after all! But I'm tired of so much control. I want to fuck up and not be able to do anything about it. Because I will either get tired of not making better decisions (in the frame, in the exposure, in the content, whatever) or I will be satisfied with whatever image rears its head and begin looking for something new in what I left for myself.

I stopped making accidents in me. I want more accidents. I want less opportunities to fail even if it means all I do is fail.

I'll turn around. I'll go back and pick up my digital camera and maybe even make something I love with it. But I want to be able to see something, have it, fall deeply in love with it and then let it go. I even want to lose it. Because with enough practice, I gain even when I lose, even if it's just one moment I gain, just one image, just one successfully mediocre photo.