12 March 2008

A bit sheepish about SoFoBoMo

Got some logs you need the bark stripped from? Nobody's better at it than sheep! These guys were busy at their task at Hunterston Farm the last time I was out there. Even the new lambs were joining in, and climbing the heap of logs was no impediment for one of the older ones.

Others have been commenting on how quickly the start of SoFoBoMo is approaching (I'm starting April 1) and how daunting the task seems for one reason or another. My problem is that I'm scattered all over the map in the themes that I like to photograph. I thrive on variety. I get bored working on one project for any length of time. So I will find it hard to photograph for a straight month on one subject. Maybe I don't have to. But doesn't a book of photographs need to have some sort of unifying concept that ties it together? I was thinking of doing the funky colored houses in Vancouver, but even that could get tiresome after several days of shooting. Basically just driving up and down all the streets where I suspect these cool houses are (though I could do the site scoping ahead of time and write down addresses to save time during SoFoBoMo month).

And then there's the same issue Paul Butzi is worried about -- won't the resulting book be kind of boring? Just pictures of a bunch of houses, funky-colored though they might be.

And do I really have the right to publish photographs of people's private homes without their permission? Probably, because they are all viewable from public streets. But it still would feel kind of voyeurish driving around taking pictures of people's houses. I might be suspected of being a criminal preparing for a break-in or something, especially if I linger around each house long enough to get an interesting composition.

Argggh! I think maybe I need to go back to the drawing board for an idea for a theme.

1 comment:

Sørina Higgins said...

I wouldn't think you'd need to choose a theme at all, up front, would you? I mean, I would think it would be like a short poetry collection, which (for me) works thusly: I write a bunch of poems, on a variety of topics. Just that fact that they are written by me gives them some unity, because I have a certain style, tone, voice, and range of interests. Then, when it comes time to collect them, I find some sort of flow -- some kind of internal logic from one poem to the next, or bunching them together, or revealing a progression. I'm hoping that my upcoming chapbook shows a progression from questioning to more certainty, but they weren't written that way. They move from sort of grumpy poems of doubt to a series on mythology, to some about nature, to ones with more spiritual certainty.

So can't you just take all the pictures you like, on all kinds of topics, and then look forward to the fun of grouping them together and finding themes or developments or subtle implied narratives?


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