Saturday, June 20, 2009

Copley Square

Here's a new picture. It's a composite of about 45 images over half an hour. It really happened just like this, however. Even though it was only in my head.

I've been thinking about a certain kind of photographers often says something like, "reality is richer, stranger and more varied than imagination." They mean that you should go out and take pictures of real things and leave making things up to painters, novelists, sculptors, filmmakers, etc. It's true that the strength of photography is its documentary capability. But I think it's also true that all photographs are acts of imagination. The decision to photograph, say, man's effect on nature by taking pictures of orange lakes, trash-strewn fields, etc., is an idea, an act of imagination itself. And the truly successful work in this vein succeeds because it's imaginative, that is, we see this standard subject in a new way.

Call me defensive, but I think reality-imagination divide is kind of artificial. I guess I think my work straddles the divide, or at least does both things wrong.

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