W.Eugene Smith, one of the great granddaddies of photojournalism said that.. well he said a bit more as well but that phrase resonates in every fibre of my being….
‘Pictures that surmount the darkness’… what a sanguine statement and one that illuminates the real purpose of photographing some of the terrible things that we photojournalists do photograph.
How far sighted of Smith to utter such a phrase as so much has changed since his day, yet nothing changes at all in the ways of humanity…He has always been one of my favorites… mainly because he managed to annoy his bosses as much as I seem to do…
The premise of my exhibition of photographs At The End Of The Day is really based on that ideal of photographs revealing something that ultimately is hopeful. Its about that moment in our lives where we feel we are in a delicate balance between light and dark and how we navigate the course that we take from the moment that revelation occurs. It sounds like a lot to pack into a photograph of random incidents but I find it a universal theme in many photographers work.
And often in the most appalling circumstances you can still see an inkling of that gift we have to be hopeful…
W. Eugene Smith goes on to say…
“I like pictures that surmount the darkness, and many of my photographs are that way. It is the way I see photographically. For practical reasons, I think it looks better in print too.”
While W. Eugene Smith was speaking about the days of black and white we are now dealing with a very different technological background to the whole process of what looks good in print. My whole exhibition has been shot on digital negatives and in colour which is somewhat a first for me.
So while I have always been known for my black and white imagery this exhibition is quite a departure for me. To help me show my work at its very best I have enlisted the help of Cam Neville, who is the director of Storm Imaging a photographer in his own right and an artist as a print maker.
Its is perhaps the most highly underrated relationship that a photographer has… much is said about the photographers relationship to their subject, their subject matter, to the audience and to the critics but no-one ever says much about the guys behind the scenes doing the hard yards to bring the photographers vision to life.
I have given Cam probably the hardest negatives in the world to work with…the ISO’s on most of them were up around the 3200 range and even though I shoot on a Canon 1DS Mk2 the noise on a large print is going to be hard to disguise. I am leaving it in the undoubtedly talented hands of Cam though as through the conversations that we have had I can tell we are on the same page creatively.
I am sure I will be delighted with the results.
The moral of this story of course is that all you photographers out there must treat the people who print your work with as much respect as the work itself. Because ultimately it is in their hands that your vision becomes reality.
Todays image is another one of the images from the show. This one is called 7.51PM