Taking Stock of My Journal

June 18, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

(March 9, 2014, Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland)

Redondo Beach, California

As Vergil said, sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore (Georgics 3.284-5), essentially times flees and it’s irreplaceable.

I’ve been writing almost every other day in my journal for almost two years. In many cases reaching back into my repository of film images and early digital pictures to speculate on the meaning of a photograph or describe how I came about making the photograph. In general, I have avoided,

  • speculating on the nature of photography,
  • discussing photo editing and composition techniques,
  • providing technical background on individual photographs,
  • comparing the capabilities of cameras (such as my Nikons and my small Leica),
  • evaluating the crispness or chromatic problems of lenses, or
  • reflecting on the state of professional, amateur, and artistic photography,

I view my photography as a form of documenting the mostly unseen world around me. As a document, it is a kind of photo-journalism. Hence, even when I occasionally use HDR techniques, I limit the amount of post-processing done in photo-editing software.

My sense of composition, shadowing, contrast, depth of field, perspective, color saturation, cropping, and other properties that contribute to the final image are my personal choices, based on my personal decisions about how I want to bring out the final image. The result is my result. I like my photographs. But my readers are almost always experienced photographers. They have their own opinion about what is good, mediocre, and bad. Discussions, on my part, about how I developed the final image are generally limited to the journey that brought me to the photograph. My thoughts about the image as a pattern in time and space. Other than that, image must speak for itself.

For most of this time I didn’t provide a capability for readers to leave comments (this is, after all, my journal, my journey through the act of making photographs and discovering how to capture all the little phenomena that occur here and there around on ordinary days of the weeks. I have added a commenting capability to my journal, although I cannot promise that I will reply to every reader’s observations (although I will try).

I began today’s journal entry by observing that I have been posting updates, on the average, almost every other day for almost two years. For approximately the next five to six months, that is, through the end of the year, I will make journal entries only a few times a month. This is basically because I need to begin organizing a group of my fellow photographers for a survey of old airfields across the Mojave Desert.


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