this is not art
There is a school of thought that suggests that we can call everything we make “art”, we only need to declare it as such. For those of us who want to make meaningful work with our cameras, we know that it isn’t true. In my discussions with Ray Ketcham, he has shared that art has to have a degree of intent beyond just the practice of craft. Many images we see today are really about craft and in some cases, really good craft. Technically well done images may be wonderful to look at but they are hardly memorable because there is really no content in them. And by the way, adding the content after you make the image because you tell a story later, doesn’t count. The thing is, putting content into our images isn’t easy and we can become paralyzed trying to do so. Ray’s advice has long been to “just make stuff”. Sometimes I’m more successful at this approach than at other times.
For the images in the post today I decided to make a conscious effort not to make art. Instead these images are specifically about practicing craft so don’t look for any meaning in them because you won’t find any. Part of my reason for making these are to improve my craft–a musician doing scales as it were–but I have another motivation. I’d like to put some integrity back in the process of making images and call a spade, a spade. I can only do this for my own images and that’s really my main objective. I hope to post more of these kinds of images throughout the year and I’ll be sure to tag them so you know which images are simply about practicing craft.