If you could never take another photograph

Brooks Jenson said on Lenswork once that if he could never take another photograph then he would still have plenty of material in his catalogue to keep him occupied for the rest of his life. (Or something like that, I'm paraphrasing from memory).

I thought at the time how I'd hate that situation. I'm often look at previous work and think I can do better, always looking to move forward.

But I've been going through my images of the last few years, partly with the intention of experimenting with black & white interpretations of photos that I originally processed in color. And I get it. There are images that I like more now than I did, and opportunities to edit with more subtlety than I did before. Images that I can still enjoy and be pleased with and make more use of. I would still rather be out taking more images, usually, but I enjoy the editing process too, especially if it's with the freedom and experimentation rather than to meet a deadline.

It also brings to mind the old idea of carpe diem - what if this was my last photoshoot, my last day ever shooting on the streets in NYC, or my last roll of film? What would I do to make the most of it, squeeze every drop of interest and connection into each of the images.

In a way, like the Kodachrome movie I guess. One last film.




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Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

alastair.arthur@gmail.com

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