Friday, May 4, 2012

The Process...

I often hear or read quotes from artists such as film makers or musicians saying that for them, the reward of a project is in "the process". That is to say, that the work of doing something is enough for them, and that the product of the work is irrelevant to the point where some never see/hear it.

El Cortez Hotel San Diego, CA. ©Mike Vega 2012

As a photographer, I enjoy the making of a photograph. Whether it is something that I organized, or if it is capturing something in the moment that I happen upon it. 
There is something about the finality of shooting film photographs and the knowledge that if it's wrong, you won't know it until later when you develop the film. This permanence of the image adds to the excitement of that moment. 
The camera, settings, framing, film type and speed, lens choice etc. etc. this IS the process. You take of these pieces and put them together in your mind and hope that 1+1=2.
The process is wonderful, but...

The Donut King II. Gardena, CA. ©Mike Vega 2012

The product has a relevance all it's own. The result of the process can be wonderful or disastrous, or worse, mundane.
Regardless of what lens you chose, or how long you waited for the sun to be in just the right position, or the subject to give you just the right look, the image has to stand on it's own or in my opinion, what is the point? 

Napoleone Pizza House (once the employer of one Tom Waits) National City, CA. ©Mike Vega 2012

Perhaps one day, results won't mean anything to me (I hope that never happens...), but for now I will enjoy the satisfaction (or disappointments) of seeing the results of thoughtfully preparing, staying aware, and working to improve.

*All of these photos were made using my trusty 1985 Canon AE-1 with Legacy Plus 100 B/W 35mm film (processed at home).