Take A Seat… Or Any Other Subject You Might Find Along The Way Page 2

After my wandering day, after I'd shot maybe 1500 images with one camera and one lens--my Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and a 24-70mm zoom--I reviewed the images. Maybe 200 of them I considered pretty good shots. I saw among them a few themes and ideas. There were a lot of chairs, a lot of walls and doorways, some market stalls, some food. No surprises there--those are the things I love to photograph. If I sit in a chair, I'm likely to photograph it. Bring me a meal or a snack, I'll photograph it, then eat it. But my choices are instinctive, and often fleeting. When you're wandering, there are no rules.

When my crew got back from their day at the beach they found me sitting in a café, reading a book, my wandering behind me. I was happy, content, relaxed. I'd accomplished exactly what I'd set out to accomplish.

But as I sorted the photos, I started thinking about something--maybe you've already picked up on this. Do you see what I saw? I mean, looking at the photos now, I think that psychologically I was photographing things that reflected my state of mind. After the all-out effort of two intensive weeks of assignment shooting, I went out and saw chairs. Symbolic of rest, perhaps? I saw doorways. Symbolic of escape from all that work? I saw food. My reward for all that hard work? I saw walls. Symbolic of...well, you get it.

I started thinking that all the things I saw and photographed perhaps represented some unconscious desire felt during the big shoot. So despite my commercial success, do these photos mean that what I really want to do is nothing more than wander around with a camera, free to shoot what I want to shoot? What I really want is to be free of restraints, of assignments? Maybe that's what I'm seeing in the photographs I took.

But then, as Freud suggested, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.