I had a plan in place for this post, but as has become my habit just before I sat down to write, I made a quick review of my recent scans to see if a better idea might surface. What a surprise when I noticed a curious pattern in a set of images that I’d previously dismissed as failures.
I’ve been pushing myself since last winter, and with increased vigor since the spring, to shake a deep, dull creative funk. Though I’ve made more pictures this year than last, photography still feels a bit of a slog, and much more like greasing the skids for the vision to come than being in that beautiful, wonder-filled sweet spot.
As much as I want to rediscover my old eyes, this current creative dry spell is like no other I’ve experienced in my years of writing about pictures here at Viewfinders. On more than one occasion, I have wondered whether it’s more of an extinction event than an extended drought.
How odd, then, that these abstract, ambiguous and sort of muddled multiple exposures cleared my blinders. Having lived through a few years that no part of prior to 2019-me would have believed possible, the clarity I’m looking for in my photos isn’t there because it is no longer present in me.
I don’t love these photos, but they feel honest in their confusion in a way nothing else I’ve made has in a long while. Instead of asking myself when I’ll get my old eyes back, I need to ask myself a different question entirely. How can I find focus under the power of my new fun-house lenses?
What about you? After the years we’ve had, do you find yourself seeing things any differently?
Keep your eyes wide open,