Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Five Greatest Photographs

I was asked, "If you could be remembered for just five photographs, what photographs would they be?" This is an interesting question that's very difficult to answer.

The first problem with the question is that it assumes that I'll be remembered for five photographs. Most photographers won't be remembered at all. Time has a way of erasing people's existence. Most people will have existed as names on dusty records. It doesn't take but a generation or two after one's death to be forgotten. Some photographers will be remembered for just one photograph, or perhaps two. Only a very small handful of photographers are remembered for five or more images.

The second problem with the question is that the photographer is rarely the one who decides which photograph or photographs that they are remembered for. I'm reminded of Steve McCurry and his well-known Afghan Girl photograph. He made several different exposures, and he had picked his favorite. However, his publisher liked a different exposure better, and that's the one we all know today. Often photographers have an emotional connection to their exposures which make them biased. It's difficult for a photographer to know which of his or her photographs are really the best.

The third problem with the question is that I hope that none of my current photographs are the ones that I'll be remembered for. I hope that I have yet to capture my best work. I'm constantly striving to be a better photographer. I hope that I can look back at the photographs I've captured over the last year and think they're all terrible. I want my future photographs to blow away everything I've captured to this point.

With all of those things said, however, I've come up with my top five favorite photographs that, perhaps, I might be remembered for. These may not be my best--someone else might look at my images and pick five different ones as my best--but they're the ones that I like the most (at least today, because it seems like I change my mind on what images I like and don't like frequently). For a few, the decision to include it in this list was a no-brainer. For a few others the choice was tough, and I'm still not certain that I got it right.

In no particular order, below are the five photographs that, perhaps, I might be remembered for.
On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California
This is a dramatic image. The subject (the abandoned building) serves as the negative space, so it is a bit unusual in that sense. The sun peeking through the rafters is the punchline. It's also the contrast point that draws the viewer into the subject, where they begin to notice that the building is old and falling apart.
Sunset At Morro Rock - Morro Bay, California
This is a bright and colorful view of an iconic location. The lifting fog at sunset provides this image with drama and interest. 
Mystery Drive - Stallion Springs, California
I love the layers and contrast in this image. As the name implies, there is a mysteriousness and uneasiness to it.
The Morning Window - San Simeon, California
This image reminds me of a classic still life painting. It makes one want to step into the scene and experience it. It's mysterious. The atmosphere from the light pouring in through the window is great. 
Broken Souls - Newberry Springs, California
There's a lot going on in this image. The repeated "get her" at the top. The lucha libre sticker. The The running paint from graffiti. The general look of neglect. The words "broken souls" seem to give it all a cohesive meaning. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment