the photoshooter's journey from taking to making

AFTER-IMAGES

 

By MICHAEL PERKINS

YOU GOTTA LOVE HUMANS.

No really, you need to. Not ’cause we deserve it, God knows (she does), but because, if you view us from the vantage point of an emotionally detached galactic being, we have some adorable habits. Our fashion decisions? Laughable enough to be endearing. Our life choices? Pathetically cute. And our compulsive habit of compiling “best of” lists of our work at the end of each year?

Well, okay, that is rather obnoxious.

But the lists persist, if, by the word “persists” you mean they are crammed into every molecule of available space in the final columns, blogs, newscasts, sermons and recipes of the entire last month of each and every calendar year. Reason tells us that there is someone, somewhere, whom, this very instant, is compiling a list of the year’s best ” best of” lists. You know that’s totally happening.

Of course, photographers are no less given to this vanity exercise than anyone else in public life, and I myself have certainly succumbed to the annual temptation to round up the usual suspects from the previous twelve months. What has changed over the years, however, is my belief that I am in any position to even know what my own best work is. What I think I do feel comfortable doing is to make, instead of a ” best of”, what I call a “most of” list…..collecting shots which yielded most of what I was seeking in a particular image, regardless of its precision or formal technique. Those choices are viewable by clicking the new “seventeen for 17” menu tab, found, starting today, at the top of this page.

This means that some of these very subjective “keepers” are by no means the most technically accomplished photos I made this year, nor are they always the images that were best received, or even understood. What they do represent are the areas in which I most wanted to dabble, whether that dabbling resulted in wins or losses. If you always try to produce prize winners, your work somehow starts starving for oxygen. And I’d rather suck than suffocate.

So thanks in advance for viewing my most-ofs. They might also be my bests…….but how would I know?

Humans. Go figure.

 

 

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