Wednesday, March 24, 2010

on sadness

Recently, I was tasked with capturing "sadness" as a photography project.

I failed miserably.

First off, I don't believe in excuses, but I will offer up a couple before I proceed. Normally beautiful weather on the weekend is a great thing, but on a weekend I am lugging my 5DMII around trying to find "sadness," it is really detrimental. Smiles all over the place. Epic failure. There was a small glimmer of hope on Monday afternoon, clouds and rain. As soon as I got home and had my camera in hand, wouldn't you know it, here comes the sun. Epic failure the sequel. I hope this doesn't turn into a trilogy.

My failure was not due to a lack of effort, which I can live with. However, I believe that my failure was due to a lack of good preparation, which ultimately makes execution impossible.

For some reason, when I first thought of the notion of sadness, I envisioned a kid that dropped his/her ice cream cone. If I wanted to make that image happen, I should have parked myself near an ice cream store with a long lens and waited for the moment. Again, not to make excuses, but I doubt my wife would have enjoyed hanging out near an ice cream shop waiting for some random kid to drop his treat on a gorgeous afternoon. It was a rare Saturday off from photography to boot. I am just glad she has been gracious about the amount of time I spend at the studio or on gigs, so I didn't want to push it.

So since I wasn't able to truly capture the notion of sadness in an image, I created the lame image that starts this post. One thing is for sure, any emotion that is "created" is hollow in some way. Jerry Ghionis might disagree, especially given his endorsement of the concept of "posed photojournalism," but I think nothing can match the intensity and authenticity of pure unadulterated emotion. Whether it be sadness or happiness, I will strive to capture genuine and interesting slices of reality.

I follow my dreams. I live with my heart. I just hope one day my photography catches up and fully reflects my passion for life.

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