To Be A Writer

From the series, A Private Compass. ©2013 Dave Ortiz

From the series, A Private Compass. ©2013 Dave Ortiz

There is a cliche that goes; If I could write I wouldn’t have to take pictures! Something like that. But the truth is that there are lots of photographers that are really good writers, Robert Adams, Todd Papageorge, Stephen Shore to name only a few. I have to admit to a penchant for writing and I have lots of ideas but I think the problem is that I am still a little too restless. I have been home the past couple of days with my kids which gave me a chance to relax and catch up on my reading and thinking. By the way I just read in one sitting, Ping Pong Conversations by Alec Soth and Francesco Zanot. It’s basically a conversation between Soth, the photographer, and Zanot, the italian critic. Lots of insights into the working process and thinking of Alec Soth. There is usually a photograph on the left hand page and then a conversation between the 2 on the right hand page. Pick it up if you have the chance. It is selling fast and I bought the last copy Amazon had in stock.

To get back to my original train of thought, I seem to write only when I am stuck at a desk in front of a computer. Most of these blog posts are written at the end of the day at my place of work (shh… keep it a secret) and while I jot down lots of ideas for blog posts and journal entries, I rarely flesh them out. I think in the back of my consciousness I fear that at some point in my life I will be immobilized, not able to get around and in some strange way I am saving this sedentary activity for then. I also buy lots of books but only have time to read a fraction of them. Am I saving all this reading for then also? Got to get  a therapist.

What am I doing instead of writing? I am working on my latest series of photographs. Contemporary landscapes that has an immersive element to them. Man and nature as part of the same system, not separate or apart as classic landscape depicts. Even the New Topographics photographers has that sense that we are apart and the photographers are witnesses to the destruction of that poor, helpless victim, nature. Although some like Robert Adams make evident that what we are razing is really our own backyards.

 

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