Archive for February, 2011

Rules You Should Break #1: Kill Your Darlings

February 24, 2011

Just to warn you – this series might turn into a long one. All rules could, and should, be breaked. Not just for the sake of breaking them, but for the sake of the fun it creates and how it all suddenly starts to breathe. And new rules will probably appear resulting from old ones getting broken… feel free to break the new ones as well.

The case with a darling is that you fall deeply in love with it. It’s often love at first sight, even. For some reason which might be hard to grasp. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen, so you’re deeply impressed with your own abilities and want to let everybody see this sacred object of yours. The silly thing is that the subjectivity might get out of hand at this point. The feedback you start receiving might not reflect your own fascination and you might even get introduced to the rule which you already read up in the title.

Here, the striking advice from many will be to simply dump it. Don’t include it. Forget about it. Work on something new and comletely different. That’s a fairly easy solution. Easy solutions aren’t always the best ones. Not very often, in fact.

Below is a photograph I had a deep fascination for, but which I somehow felt there was more potential to.

It was taken last year through the peeping hole of the apartment where I’m currently residing. Today I decided to redo it before going out for a walk in the snow. To my complete amazement I suddenly heard one of the neighbours going down the stairs, and there was the answer: The picture needed a person. A mysterious man. I got two of him, this one being the second:

Redo your darlings!

So you can get new… darlings…


I would love to hear how you deal with your darlings in the comments section.

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The Luxury of Small Prints on Walls

February 17, 2011

Ålgård - 2010

There was a time when I worked in the dark: I had an unclear overview of what I was working on. I did look through new work at a regular basis, fine-tune the best ones, gather them into selected folders and judge them from time to time. But there was one simple, yet huge, mistake going on; it was all a digital process.

Then, one day at college David Bowen, one of my teachers at that time, let us in on a life changing experience. He started pushing us to get small prints (6″x4″s) of all of our best work, bring them to school and spread them all over tables, walls or even floors. For sure one of my biggest eye openers.

‘Life changing’?

It’s one of those things you won’t fully understand before you’ve actually tried it. But I can tell you that it’s easier to quicker spot the best ones. It almost seems as though the smaller pictures get, the easier judging the overall quality gets. If they have clear lines, you’ll notice. If they need to be cropped, dodged or burned, you’ll notice. If one doesn’t quite fit in with the rest, although you really wanted it to, you’ll force yourself to take it away. If you need to set up a specific order for a series/project, it’s easy. If you want to show your work for suggestions and critique, they’re perfect for it and easy to bring.

And so on.

Well, you won’t notice it all straight away. You need to be patient, look at them and play around with them on a regular basis. Find a wall at your working place or at home you can stick them on, or even better; a magnetic board or a fridge (like in the kitchen where I’m writing this), so you can use small magnets to easily stick them up with. By always having them available in your surroundings they’ll catch your eyes everytime you’re coming into the room and automatically force you to look and consider. Even it’s just for 15 seconds – it will help, they’ll be on your mind.

If you do feel you’re missing an overview of your best work, then I’d say this would be a really good time to get some prints and see what that might lead to.

It would be wonderful to hear about your experiences and thoughts on small prints below in the comments section.

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