The Multitude of Masses

I saw an image that was randomly up on the screen yesterday being previewed in one of my finder windows and I thought wow that is a very striking image. (today’s image) It was one I had worked with some time back, but it never quite came around for me at the time. So I tossed it to the back thinking I would never use it. There are so many images I discard thinking it really wasn’t the essence of what I was trying to capture at the moment and move it to the back of the pile. A short while later that afternoon I opened my RedBubble portfolio looking for something else and I glanced at my work as a collection. Wow, it felt like I was seeing the overview of my images for the first time and I found myself thinking is this actually me. Have I amassed this many images in such a short period of time working as a photographer? You see I have been posting the daily images to the RedBubble portfolio without really looking at their context or relationship. I don’t mean to sound conceited and this may sound silly but most of the time I am unaware of or never really see what I create as a collection. I think as artists we only tend to look at what is right in front of us, what we are currently involved with. Yes I have some of my images hanging in my studio, but I don’t change them out near often enough. The same ones will hang for years because it always seems too much of an effort to redo and I never get tired of the ones already hanging. What drew me to photography in the first place is that each image is capsule. A small slice of me and where I was emotionally engaged at that moment in my life. It defines and takes me back to the moment. Surprisingly many of the subjects I meet are mere casual people I meet, invite into my studio and photograph and then never see or interact with again. But what is left behind is this amazing impression of my psyche that I can go back, visit, and reexamine. It’s not that I don’t wish to continue the relationship with the subject; its just there isn’t enough time.

We are conditioned culturally to not actually have that many sustainable relationships. Look at Facebook. How many friends we actually have? Yes we have crossed paths with many of them, or gained insight or inspiration, but to actually talk, I don’t even think is possible yet I feel bound to each and every one of them. I now live in a virtual world where I am still trying to come to grips with on my own personal level. It makes me question how much of the worth while parts of our lives are being randomly discarded because we are all so overwhelmed by what is actually right in front of us in this moment. At least for me it lives in a photo that reignites that moment. But is it so massive that so much of the beauty cannot possibly be contained and therefore must be discarded. How many of us have massive collections of images we have taken over the years, stowed away, always meaning to revisit, that are abandoned or forgotten? I think it’s the oddest part of modern digital photography. Somehow capturing so many images, instantly with so much quantity, that we can’t possibly assimilate. As a photographer we have better tools to organize and gain instant access, but most of the general population doesn’t. Nor do they have the time. I tend to think of myself as a historian because I am always archiving and recording the history of my world and how I exist within it. It is one of the passions that draws me to it. Often we just don’t ever really see the overview of what it is we are working on until we are able to step back and actually take a look. And as much as I have complained about not having subjects to work with, I now see there a quite a few. I see and feel the influence of others in the entire multitude, multi-layered styles I have worked, hence so much variation. I still feel a distinctive thread running through out all, this is just me try to find meaning and express myself.