In the last couple of days and weeks, I have begun to reduce my intake of photography a lot. I revised my connections on social sites such as Facebook, Flickr and Google+. I wanted to reduce these connections to actual friends on the one hand, and inspirational photographers on the other (of course, some people are both, at the same time). Some of them are compiled on my links page.
And browsing the entries of Jim Goldstein’s blog project for 2013 (where photographers share their personal favorite photos of the past year – mine are in there at position #176, or here) has revealed to me how my own taste in photography has changed, and I was looking at waaaaay too much photography that didn’t exactly match it anymore.
As a result, I “unfollowed/uncircled/unliked” (all three are words that the spell checker still doesn’t recognize, by the way) a lot of good photographers. A step that will, perhaps, be misunderstood by some as arrogant (or whatever else), in an online world that is dominated by the exchange of little pleasantries, often in an “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” manner.
Nevertheless, it was absolutely necessary, and it feels right, and healthy, from an artistic point of view. Because I think I’m prone to being influenced too easily by my surroundings. It’s just like that. Not exactly a shocking enlightenment, I must admit – I knew this for a very long time, I guess it was time to act on it! Because… it’s simply hard to keep what I would call an “artistic purity” and/or even naivety, that enables me to approach subjects with the same kind of simple curiosity and excitement like 6 or so years ago (when I began to get more seriously into photography), when at the same time, I’m allowing an endless stream of influences and distractions scroll past me, day by day and hour by hour, on social networks and photo sharing sites.
And for me, images like the one above are much closer to me, what I see and consider worthy of being photographed, than the prettiest sunset. I’ve been collecting images like this ever since I moved to Southern California. These hillsides were unusual and beautiful to me – and no one photographed them. But I did. And that’s what I want to hold on to. (and I hope to have a reasonable amount of them for a gallery online here, soon.)
So, I need to avoid too much external influence in order to be able to see and do what I really want to, photographically. And while being a good “social cyber-citizen” contradicts that, it certainly feels more honest to have a limited amount of contacts that I can actually and realistically watch, catch up and interact with, too.Thanks for reading! You can stay up to date with my blogposts and subscribe via email (the subscription form opens in a new browser window/tab). It's easy as pie! :-)
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