Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When Does it Become a Project? Part 2

I never set out to shoot a "project." I never try to think of a concept that I can turn into a project.

I have created only a few projects and in every case they developed out of an unplanned exploration of a subject. The more I work at photographing a particular subject the more potential I see in it, the more it attracts me. Eventually I see a pattern or structure developing in the work or I don't. If what's there still intrigues me I figure I'm on the verge of greeting a project.

Photographing Alcatraz over a period of four years developed in that way as has my eleven years of photographing in Golden Gate Park. Most recently it has been my flag imagery that has taken the shape of a project. It's finished now and still it has not provided a satisfying resolution to the conflicting notions of what the flag represents. The times we live in are too complex for such a symbol to stand for a single truth or any truth.

It may be easy for some photographers to say I want to do a project on this or that then figure out how to do it. But for me a project emerges out of my practice of a deeper seeing. It's not always apparent. I'm often not aware of how deeply I'm seeing something until I start looking back at the images and begin to see the pattern emerge and define itself.

Part 1: Here

Photo: ©2012 David W. Sumner

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