I’ve been a little absent in blogging recently and that’s by and large due to my recent weekend in Port Townsend, which generated a lot of thought-provoking conversation and challenged me photographically quite a lot… and mostly without even picking up a camera. To that end, I’ve been really taking my time lately in thinking about what it all actually meant.
One point that I found interesting was discussion around executing on a concept in your mind’s eye, or as I often hear, pre-visualising. I didn’t get a pulse for what the consensus in the room was about if this was decidedly a good idea or not, but for me at least, there’s a sincere reward and satisfaction from dreaming up an idea, or taking inspiration from a memory and creating art to match that idea.
There’s a real and tangible feeling that encompasses me when I see the image on the back of the LCD as the first-step towards the genesis that picture or idea in my mind’s eye. That feeling kicks in again as I’m editing, and when I’m finished, it’s quite fulfilling. When I’m shooting, sometimes I just roll with the environment I’m in and let the photographs come to me in a kind of organic way. Lately I noticed that there’s a handful of times where I actually get an idea, and execute on it exactly as I saw it in my mind.
So, when I was out last night photographing the city skyline at sunset, I tried to see if I could think up some kind of idea in my mind, and execute on it. Maybe this could be a practical way to realise at least part of the thoughts running through my head lately. The sunset was not really popping like I’d hoped, so I decided to focus on some individual subjects alone instead of the entire city. When I panned over top of the Space Needle against the puffy clouds in the sky, I was reminded a little of the scenes from Star Wars where you see the sky as ships fly towards Lando’s Cloud City. Taking inspiration from what memory I had of those scenes… I worked at a photograph to give that scene a bit of a Seattle versus JFL spin and create something derivative but also unique, with my (for lack of a better word) stamp on it.
It was fun to watch this idea come to fruition and it really did help me validate some of the ideas and discussion around conceptualising photographs before they exist. I’ve got more thinking and writing to do on this, but for now, a part of the puzzle is substantially clearer.
To the cloud!