Broken Images: Reading into your terrible photographs

Sometimes (most of the times) we take images that we think are gold. And even more often they are terrible.

The advantage of using film is that it gives you distance from the images you create. I wait weeks, months and even years to develop rolls of film. Some of that is laziness, and some of that is intentional. While that time is passing, my mind is moving farther away from the events, mindset, and initial concept that led me to the decision to pull the trigger. The passing of time allows me to formulate a more critical opinion of my work and ultimately decide the validity of the work in regards to my initial purpose for it.

With that framework in mind, I tend to find great pleasure in critiquing the terrible images I have taken. Not out of focus or over/under exposed images, but the ones that missed the mark. Recently I have been pixilating, un focusing, and cutting up these images to attempt to find the formal elements that forced me to take the photograph in the first place. The process is slow, taxing, but ultimately fun and informative.

The saying “You learn more from your mistakes…” (whatever, you get it) applies here. Explore the failures in your art practice to better inform your future endeavors .