My photography club is holding its monthly photo critique evening today.
Local professional photographer, Ed Crim, who runs the group, asks his audience for three to five photographs, pre- and post-processing, and gives his opinion on them. Typically about 20 to 30 people come.
It’s been instructive and helpful in the past and has broadened my own photographic technique. Today, though, I’m not going to go.
It’s become a chore.
A chore in finding and choosing my own photographs to show.
A chore in looking at the work of others, some novice, some improving, some excellent. Some not so good at all.
A chore in listening to the same type of critical wisdom applied over and over again.
Again, it’s clear to me that my accelerating disinterest has much to do with my increasingly iconoclastic attitude towards current digital photography trends.
Plus, as I pointed out yesterday, my embrace of film photography has moved me to the periphery of popular interest.
I have to say it’s a bit sad to be where I am today. When I began with the critiques, several years ago now, everything was fresh and open to discovery.
These days, freshness and discovery have moved into a much more personal world. I am reminded of the Beta Band song, “Simple” with its refrain:
I tried to see it their way, I tried to be alone
I tried to do my own thing
But the trouble with your own thing
Is you end up on your own
It’s a price to pay. Worthwhile at the moment, yes, because for perhaps the first time in my journey into photography I feel I am genuinely following my own muse. The fact that I’m largely keeping it to myself may also be a price to pay. Again worthwhile. Not least because I learned a while ago that to be true to your own vision is the only way to really get any artistic satisfaction from what you do.
So I’ll sing the Photo Critique Blues and swing home again from work through Forest Park, camera in hand.
Doing my own thing.