They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. If that's true, how much is something worth that has a memorable picture of it? How does it feel to walk past places and people everyday that I've photographed? When I walk by the same place later, and remember the photograph, am I walking through the photograph? Or am I projecting an image of how I believe the place to look in the photograph?
These are some of the questions I've been asking myself lately. I'm in a fortunate -- and interesting -- position: that my photography is practically squarely focused on the things, people and places around me. I'm not often traveling a great distance to take photographs. I'm taking photographs practically right outside my front door, all the time, and rarely ever that far away.
Often these are places that I'll photograph, love the photograph, then walk by the same place, oh, 3 months later. The place has taken on a mystical, magical quality.
This is happening more with strangers on the streets as well. Some people who I've photographed, I'll see them again weeks later. And when I see them, their presence is almost unreal. It's kind of like, if you saw in real life a character in a movie that you thought wasn't actually a person.
I think this is partly because I really do pore over my photographs. Some more than others, of course, but the good ones, I really like to spend time with them. Study them carefully, let the images simmer in my mind, and think about why and how I made those photographs.
Then when I see the subjects again in real life, it's kind of like, seeing a new piece or element of something you already know so well. For me, this has a strange way of keeping reality always fresh and interesting.
But the original photograph is the photograph. I'm rarely compelled to take another photograph of something after passing it again. It's kind of like, the photograph is the document of the thing or person. What's the point in making another? Why muck with reality?