Working on the Back End

I should be out shooting today, but it’s cold. That’s actually a laughable comment, it’s only 59 degrees out, which a month ago would have seemed warm… but today, particularly with the wind howling, it seems very cold, and it has me wanting to curl up in bed under my electric blanket and watch TV.

So instead of going out and creating images, I’m staying home and working on some of the back end of photography. This is the stuff that’s not fun and artistic, in fact can be mind-numbingly boring, that I tend to let pile up and then go through in concentrated bursts once a week or so. There’s very little editing to be done, aside from a few very basic portraits, because I’ve been doing a good job lately staying current with editing.

So… I’m applying for grants, organizing my databases, plowing through the blogs that I subscribe to but don’t read daily, and making contact with models and editors I haven’t spoken to in a while. But the real challenge today is bringing some definition to a few of the series I’ve been developing lately.

“Echoes of My Grandmother” — This series is based loosely on work by Kate Hutchinson. So I have to be very careful about it not looking too much like Kate’s work. This is difficult because her images are so beautiful and I want so badly to make mine look like hers… but then it’s just a redo of her photographs, and not my own work. This is creating complications in the conceptual side of the series. Right now I have nine photos “completed”, which means they’re edited the way I want them and they’ve been tentatively titled. I now have to go through them, and decide on more images I want to create, which can be edited down into a few more. The goal is to end up with between twenty and thirty “completed” images, which I’ll then have printed and edit down to a final series of ten to fifteen images. Since my grandmother returns from her time in the Keys next week, I have only a few days to complete this part of the project. Then I have to decide whether I want to include portraits of her, and complete them.

Next up is the series on religious buildings. I have to name this series, and almost as importantly, write a statement describing the series. As far as a name, “The Architecture of Faith” keep resounding in my head, but I’m not sure I’m sold on it. I’m using it as a working title, but I’d love to hear any ideas my readers have. As far as a description, what I want to do with this is explore religious structures in the context of the buildings being an act of worship – in other words, the beauty of the structure and facade as a tribute by the congregation to the glorification of God. There’s a long history here that I’m going to have to overcome (or at least, deal with in some way) if I want something cohesive to come together from this.

“Panhandle Luminaries” is a project that will gather portraits of influential people from politics, civic life, the military, educational institutions, etc. in Northwest Florida. This has been percolating in my mind since at least September, and I’m at the stage of putting together a list of participants to invite to have their portraits done, gathering funding, and finding a home for the completed archive.

There are a few other series in the works, including one dealing with figure studies that I’ve hinted at a few times. I’m still figuring out exactly where I want to go with that. I’m also in the early stages of a series examining Santa Rosa County, Florida, where I live, and I’m considering some kind of project dealing with the TVA, which will celebrate its eightieth birthday in 2013.


~ by David Cupp on April 7, 2009.

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