Seriously

May 27, 2019


I had a discussion recently on Flickr that somehow got to the point that I wrote: “[..] In any case, I didn't think you were devaluating my landscape work, not at all. I was trying to relate the discussion to my own practice, but I don't take it personally. “

I was tempted to add: and even if you were devaluating my work, that’s okay, I don’t mind. Which is true, up to a point. I sometimes feel that writing all these blogposts about the hows and whys and ifs, and getting myself into arguments about work, must suggest that I take myself very seriously as a photographer. And I do, but only within this small world that is mine. Photography is important to me because it’s something that I love doing. That is rewarding in a way that can not be compared to anything else. Even when it’s difficult and frustrating, or perhaps especially then. I often feel proud of what I’ve accomplished these last six years, starting with close to nothing. I like scrolling through my website and look at the result of my efforts. But I’m not deluding myself, I have a realistic idea of what this work is worth in the real world. I dare say that I have an eye for composition. There is a sense of authorship throughout my photography, a signature if you will. I am able to convey a certain emotion through my landscapes I suppose. But also: it’s mostly form, not content. There is no story. I lack the creativity to play with visual languages. I often feel I’m not good at seeing. It happens, rarely, that some magazine publishes my pictures. It happens that people I admire follow and appreciate my work. It also happens that people with influence and authority in the field don’t see anything in what I do and give me zero when I reach out to them. That balances nicely.

I never refer to myself as a photographer. Photography is something that I got myself into. I have ambitions, greater than my skills or talent allows for, and I take them seriously. But not much is at stake really. Becoming a photographer has never been my long term life goal, and I don’t have to make a living out of it. More than anything I’m happy that I found something that I truly love doing. I had to make do with a lot less for most of my life.

Picture taken in Germany, a couple of years ago, just passing through.