I met my friend Donna today for coffee and a discussion about photography.
We were concerned about issues that I’ve written about before and that have become meaningful as we move away from simply mastering our equipment and developing our technique into considerations of what we are actually trying to say with our photography.
In other words, our photography as art.
Photography that is actively meaningful and not simply some technically superb image that checks off all the boxes of doing it right but somehow completely misses the point and ends up immaculate but soulless.
So we settled on attempting something political. Just what that might be we left open to any number of interpretations, but at base it has to address the human condition in a direct and demonstrative way.
As I spoke about this with Donna, I didn’t have a clear idea of just how that might play out but I was willing to let the concept percolate and see where it might lead.
Tonight, after an evening of fairly mindless TV watching and playing some music, two images popped up out of my memory.
Two doors that I photographed in 2015. Both in St. Louis. One covered with gun rights posters, the other with crime scene tape following a murder within.
One represents defiance and some sense of threat. The other represents a consequence, the threat’s culmination. Separately, they convey different emotions — anger and tragedy. Together, they convey disaster.
This is the direction I need to take to move my photography out of its rut. Elements are already there. What’s been lacking is any sense of cohesion.
This is going to change.