#wasteoffilm: Weekly Favorites (49/2017)

The new selection of this week's feature is finally here! Happy to showcase these five images as always! To find out more about each photographer behind the photograph, simply follow the link up top. I'm looking forward to all of the images coming this week, so make sure to keep posting! But now off to review the final draft of my upcoming book, stay tuned!

How can you enter your images? All you have to do is to tag your images shot on film with #wasteoffilm and I will pick my favorite images and display these five in the following week! There is a feature each and every week!

@doyoudevelop

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Please consider supporting this blog, my photography and also the YouTube channel by either getting my new book or some stickers through the wasteoffilm shop or by using my Amazon Affiliate links. ( US / UK / DE )

The mystery of creation - does it still exist?

A large part of ones admiration for art comes from the unknown circumstances it was created in. How the artist felt when making this piece of art, what went though his or her mind, and ultimately how it was achieved. The creation of art remains mostly a black box, without us ever knowing what it took to get there. And we can only try to grasp an idea of it by looking at the final (perfect) product. Usually, only the masterpieces are shown, no-one surely wants to put his or her worst art in a book, exhibition, or to showcase.

But this idea is severely challenges as the internet and social media steps in. As I have written in my latest post (On the overestimated power of social media as a source of inspiration) the so called democratization of art is in my opinion one of the most positive effects of the internet on the art world. You no longer need a publisher, gallery, or marketing manager to get your work out there. You essentially are all that at the same time (to some extent). Concerning the impact on the black box of creation though, the internet removes a large part of this phenomena. We see behind the scenes material, live updates, and to an extent never thought possible: failures. The realization, that for example even the grand masters take bad images and not everything they touch magically turns into gold.

It just leaves the question if this is a positive thing or not? I believe it is twofold. I surely admire the romantic times of not knowing the odds under which something was created, how the person behind the art really is like, and most importantly how it was done. Looking at art this way, it almost seems otherworldly. Sometimes, you fail to be able to explain and comprehend the work.  It touches your emotions very deeply, and you acquire the idea of it possibly not even being human. 

These times still very much exist, but there is an obvious shift visible. A large number of the newer generation of artist (corresponding to the idea of the democratization of art) work in a different manner. As aforementioned, we are now more likely to share how we achieved something and personally most novel, we sometimes also share our failures and that leaves us with a completely new way art is perceived. Stephen Shore uses Instagram and his iPhone as a new way to share his work in a very different form. It is not like he takes photographs and then shares his best ones, he also very much takes them solely for the publishing in Instagram in a one-shot kind of way he has implemented with his 8x10 camera a while ago in his work (see this article for reference).

We are left with so many options and resulting opportunities to share our work in various forms. Additionally to what always had existed. In the end, no way is better compared to the other. But nevertheless, some of the unknowingness and resulting less restrained way of thinking and interpretation gets demolished forever. On the other side, we suddenly receive much more information and can keep the technical knowledge in mind while creating our new work. Once you know how something was done, you can start developing this idea further, realize what is possible, and perform it on your own way.

 

Unrelated to this short write-up, my aim with these short essays is not to cover a topic in its whole, but rather to illustrate a short point of view and leave the rest to your imagination. So if you have any thoughts related to the posts, please leave them in the comment section!

 

Support the blog

Please consider supporting this blog, my photography and also the YouTube channel by either getting my new book or some stickers through the wasteoffilm shop or by using my Amazon Affiliate links. ( US / UK / DE )

On the overestimated power of social media as a source of inspiration

A large amount of the newer generation of artist and people passionate about the arts in general often state social media as a great way to get inspired, study work, and learn more about an artist. While I do agree that this platform enables one to get introduced to a large proportion of people in a relatively short amount of time, it also comes with a variety major flaws. And in my opinion they even tend to outweigh the positive aspects of the medium.

But why am I so negative about social media as a source of inspiration? I tend to agree that it can be an effective way to find out about new and mostly contemporary artist. Let’s just focus now for the ease of writing, and to better complement my personal experiences, on photography. But this might as well be applied to any other art form existing. 

Social media plays an immensely important role in the so called “democratization of art“. Where established ways of how certain things used to be done are broken and artist are provided with more free and less elite ways of working. But this shall not be the topic of this short write up.

Rather, I want to impose the following question: Is social media really a good source of inspiration, or is it just a mere representation of the art presented in a very distracting and unfavorable environment (phone, computer, etc.)? The internet in general doesn’t provide anything more than, in my mind, one of the worst places imaginable to display art. Surely, you can get inspired to a certain extend by it, but I feel that most of the time you don’t achieve anything else, than to drown in the pool of opportunities constantly presented to you. More links, more websites, and then, to make matters worse, an email or text pops up on your screen. And the very split second it does come up, you’re distracted. And this flash of inspiration wasn’t more than that, a short glance at something you will forget about sooner than later. And now you’re left with a short spark of it, which is essentially what social media does. To supply you short sparks of adrenaline, and then you suddenly get addicted to it overall and fall for it. Surely, nearly everyone has at some point gone the bitter route of judging ones work by the amount of likes and comments received. Then to see it as some form of rating system for determining which photographs are good, and which seems absolutely insane.

Don’t you want to study bodies of work in the form they should be viewed in? Books and exhibitions are the best source for it. Seeing the artwork in real life at an exhibition can sometimes come as a revelation of some sort. Maybe you don’t live in an exciting city with lots of museum and fancy exhibitions, well no problem, get into books. Look at work in the form it should be viewed in, I cannot stress this enough. Your phone or laptop screen certainly isn’t. You will start to look at fewer images, less photographers in more time, and you will be rewarded with the revelation and the true meaning of a complete project or single image. There are no distractions and the work is laying right in front of you, to be discovered and studied. You don’t need to built a library of books you will never read or look at. Get a few, and look through them intently. Again and again, until you know every single part of it almost by heart. And then you can start looking through more and more, and therefore pave your way through the works and artists most interesting to you. It has come to a point where I refrain myself from looking at someone’s work on the internet, and rather, if I am persuaded that this will provide some interesting information, rather go for the book or something physical which is available. This does also support artist, publishers, and all other people involved a tiny bit to keep doing what they do. Art can really be a enduring passion and way of making a living, and one surely tends to overestimate the true amount of these very specific books that get sold.

This is the true essence of inspiration, not a short streak of it, but a deep knowledge and a ever present flow of inspiration. You will suddenly start to come across ideas and concepts, with all of that input in the back of your head. You have seen, studied, and understood what is out there, what can be done, and achieved. And you can start using this to your advantage, to produce the work you have always imagined.

 

Support the blog

Please consider supporting this blog, my photography and also the YouTube channel by either getting my new book or some stickers through the wasteoffilm shop or by using my Amazon Affiliate links. ( US / UK / DE )

#wasteoffilm: Weekly Favorites (48/2017)

Very happy to present this week's selection of images! As always, I have had a challenging time selecting only five images among all of the entries. On another note, we have just reached over 40.000 posts using the hashtag. I am really grateful to see this community of people who deeply care about photography grow every single day.

How can you enter your images? All you have to do is to tag your images shot on film with #wasteoffilm and I will pick my favorite images and display these five in the following week! There is a feature each and every week!

@jac1nt

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Support the blog

Please consider supporting this blog, my photography and also the YouTube channel by either getting my new book or some stickers through the wasteoffilm shop or by using my Amazon Affiliate links. ( US / UK / DE )