Friday, February 10, 2006


I've been working on printing for the show. I have a few images that I've printed that initially I thought were finished but as I looked at them again, I saw that they didn't quite convey what I wanted the image to convey. What I want the whole group of photographs to convey is also becoming clearer as I print and look. Now it is about the subtlety of interpretation. So I spent one whole day this week reworking the image above which doesn't show up as well in this small JPG as it does in the 16x16 print.

When I first printed it I thought that maybe I needed to print it just a tad lighter but as I kept looking at it, I realized that wasn't going to work because the image looked too documentary. I didn't want documentary. I wanted the image to convey the "feeling" of the place. Strange, fantasy, misty, shadowy, mystical, ancient civilization, surreal.

After I printed the new interpretation, I showed the before and after images to Ned. He said he could see a little difference. A little difference? I saw a vast difference and once I had the new print, I cut the old one up. I would not want anyone else to see the old one. It just wasn't the "right" interpretation of my vision.


Tommy Williams said...

At least he saw a bit of a difference. I find that people who aren't photographers are not attuned to the subtleties of those who are.

And it makes me wonder sometimes: am I worrying about things that don't matter? Or is it the awareness of these subtleties, and the desire to control them, that makes it a work of art rather than just a snapshot printed large?

BillieS said...

Ah, Tommy, your last two questions go to the heart of this entry although I didn't say it in those words. There are times when we just have to let go. We have worked on an image and worked on it but we still see some little something that we could change. Something that no one else (probably not even another photographer) would feel needed to be changed. But there are other times when you KNOW that it isn't right. It doesn't make any difference who says it is a good image, deep inside you know that it isn't what you want to say. That is what will drive you to work/rework an image for hours and hours. Is that the difference in a work of art and a snapshot? I think it is a piece of it....the awareness and looking deeply inside the image and your heart.