Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jealousy is the Ultimate Flattery

A good friend and fellow photog I've followed on Flickr and lives local has just recently managed to not only publish a photo book of his work, Monodrift: Volume One, but achieve the coveted Staffer's Choice recognition for producing a photo book chock full of deliciously wonderful images. His accomplishment is one I've often hoped to achieve myself (the production of a book, anyway, not necessarily the exclusive recognition, although that would certainly be nice). I find myself in a weird place of admiration for his dedication and talent, respect for his drive to push forward with it in face of the costs associated and insane jealousy that he managed to beat me to the chase and produced a book before I could. But as another good friend always told me, jealousy is the ultimate expression of flattery to the successful. And sure enough, Jake deserves it.

Barring the jealousy that he managed to publish his favorite work in this manner first, his achievement has rather inspired me to put forth more effort in publishing my own work. Jake's Volume One is a clean, crisp display of his photographic work over the last year, sans text blurbs and explanation. Rather, he lets the images speak for themselves. It's a gorgeously arranged approach, but mine would certainly be a bit different (different strokes for different folks).

Before my accident, while in the process of acquiring my studio, I had it in mind to produce a photo book of my own, but aside from straightforward display of images I had planned on a strong literary element to pair with them. Other photo books on the topic of abandoned and decaying Western architecture have traditionally concerned themselves with building history, detailing in fine detail the progress of their function's decline into vacancy. Myself, I've never been too overly concerned with the history of the buildings I've photographed. Much like Jake, my interest is heavily geared to the aesthetic of decay. In the greater picture of photography as a hobby overall, however, my focus leans heavily on the experience behind the capture of the image. As such, my original plan back in April was to produce a photo book with short, frankly written yet eccentric and stylistic descriptions of the experience behind each image.

Like any literary material, it would take time and good editing before it ever reached a published state, and 4 months ago I was more than ready to invest that time. Lately, however, I've been very lackadaisical in my pursuit of a more polished self image as a photographer. That lethargy that plagues me is the one obstacle I have left to counter. And again, I find myself brought back to the talking points of my post-before-last where I'm finding it incredibly difficult to climb back on the horse from which I was thrown. These days, however, I'm getting much more support from key figures in my daily life which is countering that personal woe with success. At this point there is only the doing left to be done, financial and support concerns are not an issue. So frustrating that the doing has become so difficult, though.

In other news, I ordered that 45mm f/1.8 Olympus recently released. Excited about it showing up at my door and putting it to good use. Right now this whole photo book thing is dominating my thoughts, however.