Sunday, 7 February 2010

Making sense of the accidental

Taking the photographs is only the first part of the project's task - the editing process which follows is equally important. A day's shooting may generate upwards of 300 images. A quick glance through will suffice to realise that the majority will not make the grade for whatever reason - too mundane, out of focus, not pertinent. This is not an unusual state of affairs - in the past, most photographers would have been happy to print just a handful of images from one roll of film.

Looking through the results of my first day's shooting, I search for images which have some connection - whether in form, colour, subject matter or just something intangible which speaks to me. The aim is to put together a sequence in photo-book form, to make a coherent statement out of the haphazard and random but this is very much a subjective concern. Whilst taking the photographs, I do not have anything particular in mind, I do not deliberately take one photograph thinking it will 'go' with another. I just photograph what draws my attention for whatever reason at the time. It is only afterwards, when looking through them, that I am able to make these links. Some may be linked by subject matter, like this pair of chair fragments....

At other times, a narrative seems to link disparate images....

The aim of sequencing is to establish a rhythm, making the juxtapositions neither too obvious or too obscure, though a little ambiguity does not go amiss - not a good idea to spoon-feed the viewer! The editing process is one of the most fascinating aspects of photography. There is something very satisfying about trawling through the day's haul of photographs to discover that chance has been up to its old tricks again - it makes me impatient to see what my next trip will have in store for me...


  1. Interesting thoughts about photographing and the "editing process" you wrote down here! I like your pics- the first two ones may tell a story...(like the most things we find left), we have the feeling they could be or could have been a bit more than only litter or rubbish. Fascinating is the second collection of pics - different levels of 'connection'- 'call'- communication- they could evoke discussing a deep-serious theme! The words/ads/messages/graffiti... we are finding allover in our cities may be an interesting special subject of photography! The last pic is a riddle in my eyes- I'm reading the word 'GOD', but I cannot recognize what has been depictured! -
    Looking through the results of my photographing after a journey..., I often remember scenes, things... I forgot to take and I regret not to have taken! And often I have to admit that the reality is different from the pic, but sometimes I discover things I didn't see before- yes, it is an interesting work, esp. for you while searching for connections (look at your last photoblog- series I found very inspiring and inventive)!

  2. I like the contrast: "Worldwide access"- "1861"- a time as many letters were written..., but it lasted mostly some days till they arrived!

  3. Thanks for your comments Philine. Yes, the final picture is a bit of a mystery, but it actually says Let God Arise. It was the image of the lion behind the bars which drew my attention (and I promise that it wasn't me that broke the window just to get a good picture!)

  4. "the image of the lion behind the bars" - it might be a "Vexier"-image- I cannot see any lion!- or I might be mad! And where is the connection between a lion and "God"? Yes, I must be totally stupid-mad! A little confusing for me!

  5. It is definitely a lion - like the images you speak of, once you start looking at an image in a certain way it is difficult to 'see' it in any other. I suppose the metaphor is that people put God behind bars where they can't contact him. There is a very strong connection between God and a lion in the famous Narnia series by C S Lewis - the lion Aslan is a metaphor for God.