What About Those "Why?" Images

As a few of you know, I have been finding my way out of a commercial way of looking at things for quite some time now. I have a couple of projects that I am working on that I am not even close to be ready to show. All of them are so far from my old way of working that I cannot believe it. One of the things that I do to somehow change my mentality of shooting is to shoot StupidCrap™. This is short hand for anything that crosses my path that interests me in the least, in any way. Subject matter, form, light, anything, even stuff that I can't really identify as to why it interests me. When I do this, I really make an effort not to put too much effort into it. I know that sounds strange - to me it's totally foreign, as most of my photographic lifetime has been put into every increasing effort.

Don't get me wrong here - In some ways I put Way more effort into StupidCrap™ than just pointing and shooting. I may shoot it on film and develop and print it myself. I usually choose the focus myself, I usually choose the exposure even if it's "wrong". What I don't do is put any effort into making it "better". I don't direct it, I don't manipulate the scene, I don't re-light it. I don't reflector it. I don't replace the people in it with stand-ins. I don't shoot 8 different framing and angle variations. I shoot one or two images quickly from my original point of view and that's that.

Many of you may actually need to do the exact opposite to go down a path that you desire. Me - I need less of that so that is what I am doing. As the vision for what subject matter I am interested in as well as the photographic treatment I wish to use gells for my long list of projects my intent and leap off a cliff will be to actually show some of these projects.

Realize that I haven't really "shown" anything in more than a couple of years. I was burnt-out, no matter what the subject matter was - I was not interested in photographicing it. What I was shooting I had no interest in the subject matter anymore. I would never shoot things that wouldn't "work" commercially or technically. My definition of what would "work" had become so narrow and so restricted and so technically oriented, and so so so very much work I honestly felt like anything that was not a major production was without value.

One of the things that facinates me is some of my haphazard StupidCrap™ that I end up looking at over and over with no idea what is causing me to be interested in a particular photo. In speaking with a lot of other photographers out there either in a similar boat as I, or not. One thing that I have found is that all of them have these photographs that interest them that they cannot put their finger on why.

In the interest of potentially interesting conversation, or at least causing you to think about some of these "why" type images you might have. The ones that polite folks don't actually show others because not even you know the reason why they interest you. I thought I might share a few of mine with you.

Here is one that I shot that I have kept around for more than a month. I guess that's my criteria, that gives me lots of ideas but not just that - I cannot for the life of me figure out why I like it.

Obviously feel free to discus and share some of your "why" images as well.


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