Why does a writer aspire to make a book of photographs like a traditional photographer did, like me for eg. Why does the writer look to the ‘approach’ to photography as a traditional photographer did, which more often than not often was ‘project’ based, for a variety of reasons. Why not trust that Woolfian Writerly stream of consciousness, in both the writing and the editing. And just as in writing, the ‘work’ is made in the editing. Photography in itself is just not enough.
Why does the writer not find a form that uses his words and images, expanding both, rather than one illustrating the other. Now that everyone can make photographs, and do, we might want to stop looking for ‘forms’ within Photography. That would be limiting at a time when Photography is expanding by the day.
Also as we seem to return to becoming a more image based society, it might be to the writers advantage to see Photography as another tool to be considered.
I would say the same to Cinema and Still photography. After all its just another button on the camera. I am sure there are several forms waiting to be discovered in that switch of a button. I for one, am very drawn to the moving still image, but others with more knowledge of cinema will find other forms.
The ‘skill’ in photography is how you see, not what you see. Yes it takes years to build that voice but as a writer if you could bring your own perspective (as you do in your writing) to your photography…the images will sing. And then the long solitary time for editing.
Infact what we need in Photography are the great editors, we never had too many but both Robert Delpire and Walter Keller were among them. Today, if I had to suggest someone, I would say work with a film editor. But a literary editor with a refined visual sensibility could also work. As long as you get past the notion of established forms for Analogue Photography. As soon as you think of Photography as your language and not a borrowed one.
Photography is a tool , accessible to everyone. The Book, the exhibition, the projection were forms of traditional Photography. Now that Photography is just the raw material, we will have thousands of new forms emerging.
I am no writer, and no writer could come close to Sebald, but Austerlitz is my dream book. My favorite Photo book infact.