Thursday, July 17, 2008

I've Come a Long Way

I wish I could turn back the clock and reprint a photographic project that ended up in a show during FotoFest in Houston in the Spring of 2004. The project was a series of images I made over a couple of years along Buffalo Bayou. The Bayou was close to our house and it passes through downtown Houston and on the eastside of Houston becomes the Houston Ship Channel. All of these images were made on the westside of Houston and within about a mile of the downtown area. I often walked along the bayou and I loved the way it was left semi-unattended with trees and vines. It was always a thrill when I walked around a curve and could see the Houston skyline through the trees.

I had tried photographing the bayou with a film camera loaded with black and white film but that didn't work. It didn't catch the emotion that I felt. I tried the holga loaded with black and white film....not quite right. Finally one day I went over to the bayou with the holga loaded with color film. When I had the roll of film developed, I knew that was what I had been looking for.

There were a couple of problems.....holgas are cheap cameras with a plastic lens with no coatings. This meant the negatives were very difficult to scan and color balance was way off. But I think the biggest problem was my lack of experience in using Photoshop and in color printing. Still when I showed the work prints around, people connected with the images and the gallery agreed to show the work. The show was well received and I probably sold more of the images from that show than any other show I've done.

That should make me happy but it didn't. I did not like the prints. As we were driving to the opening, my friend Frank, told me that I was overly-critical. I should just relax and be proud of the work. But I never was happy with it.

Someone has asked me to show my work to a group of photographers here in San Miguel de Allende. I thought that I would like to show something of a retrospective of the projects that I've done. I have some of the work here but there were several projects that I decided that I would like to show a few pieces from but I don't have any of the images here. So I'm doing some printing.

Looking back at the 2004 files from the bayou project brought out the inner-critic loud and clear so I decided to see what I could do with the files now. Such a big difference. Oh, I wish I could have a do-over for that show. I've come a long, long way since early 2004....A very long way in learning Photoshop and digital printing.


1st Mate said...

A wonderful image. Lots of mystery and all that rich green, so different than what I see around here. And even more compelling when you know that the city is just the other side of it.

pitchertaker said...

Every image I've ever shown I would like to have back to reprint again with the knowledge added since that last printing. As we get old, we get better... thankfully.


Anonymous said...

Just got a Holga - B/W first - forgot to take the cap off for about half the roll. Can't wait to get to SMA, look you up and find out more about my new toy!