a walk with two johns

yesterday (yes, a post about something that happened less than two months ago), I met up with Hornbeck and jrecursive to shoot some photos and hang out, talk shop. I shot a combination of from the hip and looking through he viewfinder, but most of these were shot at eye level.

Something I’ve heard said a bunch, including on this walk, that isn’t true: color photography lacks emotion. Fuck that. My esteemed colleagues were more or less in agreement, and I was in a too-agreeable mood to summon the proper righteous indignation, but: fuck that. If your photography lacks emotion, you’re not close enough. Get close. Have some Goddamn Feelings about what you’re doing. That will inevitably come through in the work. If you don’t care about what you’re doing, or about the subject at hand, then stop. You need to be entangled with what you’re shooting, you need to be emotionally involved, have some skin in the game. Some things are easy to care about: the sick, the grieving, and the au courant. (A lot of my pictures are really just me shouting “THIS REALLY HAPPENED!!!”). But for, say, the socioeconomic changes in a city, that’s harder to get into, to find the meat of, to see clearly.

I suppose, too, that color is just more laborious. Interpretive work in black and white is so pat these days that you can mostly do it with camera settings. Decide on a look, shoot JPEGs, and be done. Interpretive color depends a great deal on serendipity and correctness after the fact. It’s legitimately more work, and I find myself, when I want to be lazy, just converting to black and white (we are now solidly in territory where I am only speaking for myself, and it is decidedly not lazy for other photographers to make their own choice; some people work very hard at black and white, including my shooting companions).

So, what is true of color: you have to put in the work. There’s no hiding behind artifice.

Anyway, it was really good to get out with a couple of like minded people, shoot some photos, and shoot the shit for a while. Anybody in town wants to do a similar photo walk, hit me up on the usual channels. And thanks to John and John for the company.

I didn’t know this, but appearently the strip clubs in north beach are mad sketchy.It makes me happy that at least some part of SF isn’t yet gentrified.

Posted by Matt on 2017-03-02 18:10:08 -0800