Making Art versus Living Art

If you’ve been following this blog, then you know that both Joey and I are completing a 365 image project we are entitling “Because…” (as in 365 reasons why we photograph) as we move through the year and capture images from our respective lives. A pandemic is a curious time to do so… but in a way, that has made it all the more challenging.

At the end of the shared project, we will write about the experience, our lessons learned and whether it actually taught us anything of value. Today, I thought I would comment on just one aspect of this.

My historical approach to photography and art-making has been to consciously, intentionally go out and create. One minute I’m living life, the next I grab a bag full of gear and tripod and head out to somewhere picturesque and… create. There was something very deliberate about this and, more importantly, set apart. Life. Then art. Then back to life.

As this has not been my very first photo-a-day project, there are no surprises to the sometimes beautiful, sometimes repetitive, sometimes sloggy nature of committing to seeing, creating and posting on a regular basis. But this time, there was something else to it…

This time, I decided to commit to using a proper camera for all images – no iPhones here. Also, I decided to experiment. If you’ve seen my images over the past several weeks, you know that.

Having an always at the ready Fujifilm X100V (small, rugged, capable) with me nearly at all times has facilitated this process. Rather than distinct art-making intervals, I’m always steeped in it. The possibility is always simmering. This has allowed for the drive by during a snow storm possibility. The interesting shadows across my path opportunity. The well hello there you have an intriguing face moments. The X100V is built for this and in the end, I’m starting to live the art rather than stopping to go and make it.

I’ll still fill a bag full of lenses and grab a tripod at low tide on the Flats, so this is not an either or proposition. That said, however, living the art has changed my perspective, what I see, and how I see.

If this is something you’re contemplating, give it a try. Commit. It might just change you.

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