Keep The Exit Clear

Salzburg, Austria

Busy with kids and friends last night (and preparations in the hours before) I completely forgot to make even a single one new year’s resolution. Not that I would have kept too many in the years before, but forgetting even to make one was new for me.

But one thought had occurred to me the last week, regarding this blog. It has undergone substantial changes last year, and ironically the switch to two parallel streams and an increased number of posts has de facto cut substantially the number of visitors. (Not that this would be of real importance, but it at least puzzled me a bit.) The other major change was my omission of any text with the images, besides the very terse caption/place combo. That style I plan to loosen up again.

There have been exchanged numerous opinions of the amount of text images need, and I see good reasons for anything in between 0% and 100%. If an image works, no text might well be enough, but even in that case the reflection about motives and decisions can be helpful to clear my own mind and find the important points to build on further imaging work. As I’ve presented myself with the “Aperture Magazine Anthology: The Minor White Years, 1952-1976”, now there’s a lot food for thought (and challenge, to be honest) and material to think, reflect and develop on. “Ausfahrt Freihalten – Keep The Exit Clear” is a good motto for this work in order to not get stuck in rigid thought models, ideas or resolutions.


  1. Wonderful contrast between the black and shiny car, official-looking signs, and the worn paint on the wall and doors. I have greatly enjoyed the photographs, and look forward to seeing how you loosen up your postings in 2013.

    1. The latter’s going to be a challenge, I know. The good thing with non-resolutions is that they are even less binding 😉

  2. Allow me to quote at bit from Mike Chisholm’s Idiotic Hat blog:

    “There’s some good work, though I’m afraid to say the ubiquitous trustafarian art-worldview has established itself, even there. I won’t go on about that now, except to say that if you have to explain to me using text why your pictures are worth a look, then it’s you, not me, that needs to question some assumptions.”

    1. First of all: Mike Chisholm is probably right.

      That said, I’ve recently hanged 20 prints of urban scenes as a small exposition in our office building, and was confronted with many questions: what I had thought when framing a certain photograph, what did I want to express and so on. Of course I could have answered with Milton’s “fit audience find”, but that would have been too condescending. The creative process can be accompagnied with words, and if the photographer has no words for his images, who then could have?

      And quite a number of important photographers have bothered with verbalisation. Currently it’s difficult however, and I have the feeling that there’s a lot written on American Photography, and not so much about the German or even in German language.

  3. I have more to say on this, but think it would be easier for the two of us to continue the discussion via e-mail and not clutter up your blog with words [grin].

    Basically, it all comes down to intention: to use the image as an attempt to communicate with the viewer, or simply as an expression.

    I have pitched my tent in the latter camp, and how the viewer responds to an image is generally of no concern to me, because I am not trying to education, illustrate, or communicate—but express to my own satisfaction that which is non-verbal.

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