Happy New Year. It is winter here in South Dakota. One often thinks of it being cold, below zero, with the wind howling off the prairie, and snow drifting to the rooftops, and that would be right, sometimes, when it is that way. Anyone who knows South Dakota, though, knows that it might also be 70 degrees and sunny, all the snow melted into mud. The truth is, right now, it is somewhere in between, but it is winter, and the days are pretty short, and it’s a bit too chilly to run around shooting projects outdoors. It’s a better time to sit in a warm house and drink mulled wine.
About a week ago I went shopping for some glÃ¼wein or at least the spices to make it, but the spices were unavailable, and this being the state that’s trying to pass an abortion ban and always votes republican, the wine was not for sale because it was Sunday. Still, it is a good time to mull, if not wine, then ideas, concepts, plans.
I am planning a website remodel to show better what I do, what the common threads are in my growing body of work. Various professionals, photographers and curators, have said I have to limit the scope of my work to accomodate the thinking of editors and other curators, and, while I understand and appreciate the advice, I just can’t accept that I should ignore any avenue down which my photographic urges want to lead me. This is part of the reason that I am letting the body of work age and develop – watching the various directions curve toward some meeting points.
I am shooting much more color than I once did. I like it, although I still have a deep appreciation for the beautiful shadows and highlights in black and white photographs. Should I abandon the black and white work I’m doing? Probably not. Should I stop putting it in my portfolios (whatever they are)? Maybe. What about all the older black and white work, the essays, the series that have been such a substantial part of my portfolio (here used in perhaps another sense)? Should I put them in some archive type category? Perhaps “classic?” This is not just a matter of black and white versus color.
It is a matter of moving on, if in fact, it actually is moving on. Do curators and editors want to see what I have done in the past or what I’m doing now. In one respect, I suspect it is up to me. Do I still consider some earlier work as commonly thematic with newer work?
So, as I said earlier, I’m mulling, though right now, it is morning, and I’m drinking brewed coffee, not mulled wine. Incidentally, the latest batch of Nouveau Beaujolais is great.