The Photo Thing
Today is the day to reveal my small workings for the photo thing. See the other posts at Picture-Perfect. Thanks to Meg Nakagawa for this opportunity. I kept mistyping the photo thing to the photo think and I think that is pretty right in my case. I’ve photographed my textiles for a long time. Photo shoots used to take all day with special blue lights or greaseproof paper on a window – no digital camerato check what you just shot. Just lists that might be compared to the processed photos but usually not. It was like feeling my way in a dark cave.
Well now with digital photos we can just snap all over the place until one looks ok. But photography, the how and why we photograph is changing again. The studied shots based on limited film and money to process encouraged making every shot count for a reason. The styling had a longevity to it as though each textile will last the distance and have an eternal quality. The time involved in the shot also transferred the idea of skill in the textile as meaningful in time.
We are viewing time quite differently now. Skills of the hand aren’t perceived as important (at least where I live) and are deteriorating…they involve a commitment to time. Even skills in trades that we once thought were a given are no longer there. Styling, ideas, possible superficiality and evocative effects are more the go. Trying to get an idea or emotion across in an easy snapshot of time sometimes mixed with a story… standing still for just that moment until swallowed by the feed.
With my textile photography now I try to convey an emotion more than one of capturing beauty and eternalism. It’s fun, rather easy to do and very accessible but lacks the depth and time of previous photography. It’s momentary, throw away, fleeting. However I’m only referring to the imagery not necessarily the woven cloth itself! I don’t consider myself a photographer at all, but use the camera to convey my great wonder and almost spiritual respect for handweaving and its processes. And I realise I’m following trend in often styling a desired response from the viewer. This is where actions and filters sometimes do the work for me. Taking advantage of mathematical pixel manipulation designed by someone else creates art styling at a touch of a button. We have the ability with PhotoShop actions and filters to control or aim to control the viewer’s response to the imagery. This focus can be on ourselves rather than trusting others with their own interpretations and letting the cloth speak for itself. Our era will be so marked by this. We are all little marketers; usually of ourselves. We want to shape others opinions of us with snapshots of emotional style. Capturing a moment just so.