Form Without Function
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Form Without Function • Posted: Oct 08, 2009 14:09:30Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Most of the images I present on this blog are literal renderings of one sort or another. That is, I do not manufacture the scenes photographed. And, aside from a few special cases where the intent is obvious, I do not manipulate images to appear to be something other than what was there to begin with. Neither has anything been surreptitiously subtracted or added other than by framing. My intent is always to connect the viewer with something real, in a manner that is free from distortion and that keeps me out of the picture. That is my style. That is my creed.

That said, the problem of finding interest for viewers is not a trivial one. It is also not one I take lightly. There are certainly limitations, though. While life is everywhere, and potentially so are interesting subjects, mentally and physically connecting with them is an imperfect process at best. Many a time do I see things worth photographing only to be frustrated in the effort. Camera and subject just will not connect. My readiness may be at fault or the subject may change. Either way, opportunity is lost. Then there are other times when camera is ready, but mind does not perceive worth in what is before me. If I don't see anything of interest, how could I expect eventual viewers to see something? Substance is everything. Even if I do perceive interest and manage to render it in a way that seems both telling and involving, there is no guarantee anyone else will concur. That has always struck me as sad. No one relishes putting extreme thought and effort into something to little effect.

But, to not be appreciated is not new or uncommon. In fact, I'd say it's more the norm than not. One problem is that so much in the way of art and thought is being shared these days. Readers and viewers are literally swamped. One can hardly expect more than a few to even take notice. But of those, why does meaningful connection seem so rarely to occur? Is what I'd call substance really not so universal? Or is there some blunder on my part that inhibits its apprehension? Then too, it is fascinating to ponder exactly why some images do connect.

All of these thoughts are really water under the bridge. They have gone through my head thousands of times over the years. And it is likely so with any serious artist or writer. It is the struggle to answer, address, and cope with such questions and ambiguities that create opportunity for meaningful substance to enter into and persist in art. Struggle is essential to the process.

May your efforts along these lines eventually, if not consistently, bear the fruits of satisfaction.

Saturday, November 1st, 2008