In his inspiring book, The Art of Photography, Bruce Barnbaum writes:
Before moving on, it would be worthwhile to study your photographs slowly
while considering the questions posed in the first chapter, in order to better evaluate your own work. I feel that such an evaluation is extremely valuable and
should be done periodically.
It’s been one and a half years since I stepped up my photographing activity, when I confessed to myself that this is something truly important for me. From this spring, after the acquisition of a new camera, I’ve been constantly taking photos. I’ve been experimenting, did long practice sessions with hundreds of often meaningless shots about the same subject, and after a time, I felt that I was burnt out. What was a recreation before turned slowly into a compelling urge. That’s when I realised that I need the sort of break, and carry out the sort of evaluation that Barnbaum is referring to. Fortunately, a good friend asked me to select a few photos for his project (about which I will hopefully be able to bring some news soon), so I was reviewing my previous stuff anyway. That’s why I have not posted too much recently, and that’s why from now on, I’ll be bringing some of my older stuff here.
It was actually with this same friend that we talked about how we love many photos which are, in terms of quality, not really outstanding or downright bad. Shots which I would normally delete because of disturbing technical flaws, but then decide to keep because they somehow remain interesting.
Like the first of these two shots. The featured image with the church is the neighboring village of my childhood. The first place I ever made a cycling “tour” to. The evil place of the Montagues for the Capulets of my village. With that old church which was still ruinous back then but has been beautifully renovated since. The second photo shows people working on garlic fields, something that I used to do before my university studies. Age old memories in both cases. These two pictures were taken amidst driving on the highway so there was no way they could be technically okay. Yet, seeing these people working sort of made me see myself from their perspective, made me see myself just rushing through my life. Maybe that’s why I had to go back to the place a year later, to see that here at least, not much has transformed.