On Sunday I decided it was time to get serious about this blog and have it be a repository of so many things about Rowe and Fort Pelham Farm. This includes being more diligent with my photography. I don’t know if it is because I was a photographer for so many years in a commercial situation where value was placed on minimal shots due to the expense of film and processing or that I just don’t place that much value on it anymore but I’ve all but stopped taking photographs.
This became so clear to me over the past weekend at a Words and Wool workshop I attended at Cold Antler Farm. Jenna Woginrich had put together my dream day with her and two other bloggers I read every day. They were all full of amazing information but also such dedication to their writing and their blogs. The eye opener for me came from Jon Katz after the workshop broke and we were walking around Jenna’s farm. He is fairly new to photography and was snapping away while we were outside. I complemented him on his growth and style that I have been watching over the past few years. He thanked me and said how much he loved the camera he was using and wanted to know what I shot with. Dear God I thought, my phone, Instagram. I was a little embarrassed. We went on to talk about the quality of light and chasing it. It was quite wonderful for me to meet such a gentle and generous man.
On the drive home though all I could think about was the difference between his style and mine. He told me that sometimes he doesn’t even know he has a good photograph until he sees it on his computer, so much of it was luck. I really think this is the difference in photographers that have spent their lives using film and the photographers that have come into it during the digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I love my digital cameras. Digital sets you free in a lot of respects, your shots are unlimited these days. But is that really the way to be?
There was a light snowfall overnight Saturday to Sunday and I decided to take my phone (yes, my phone) out and take a couple of shots to put on Facebook. My shots were limited, deliberate. I didn’t load them onto a computer because there isn’t one available and part of me WANTS immediate results. I also edit while I take photographs – often deleting what I don’t want as I go along. I probably took about 15 photographs in all yesterday and kept 8. Of the 8 that I kept I would probably post 5.
I’m thinking maybe Jon has something good going on, everyone has their style, maybe I can really take something away from that experience. Take more pictures. I think maybe I’ll now look more at the opportunities to take a photograph but I don’t think I’m ever going to get away from trying to make every single shot count. I think that method teaches you to slow down and see exactly what is in front of you and that, for me, is always what photography has been about.