NOVEMBER (LIMITATIONS)

Looking back I see that I have almost always defined my projects by building in some kind of limitation: Follow the Passaic River, work for four years on one stretch of sidewalk, pick one suburb.

I suppose, though, that that’s the definition of what a project is. There must be limits and, if not a thesis, at least an end goal. After all, setting off to photograph the whole world and everything in it seems like an insane idea (or, maybe, a brilliant one).

At any rate, I do like to impose limits on myself. For better or for worse.

So now that the dust is settling on After the Fact I’m about to try something different. Trying something different is also an aspect of my how I move from project to project. Using the same tools and technique to render everything you photograph is, for me, the wrong kind of limitation.

When deciding what to photograph next I ponder a few things . . .  what am interested in doing and what do I want to learn. I also think about how I’m feeling and how that relates to my politics, and then I try to figure out a way of working that will allow aspects of those things (interest, learning, feeling, politics) to come forward. And, oh yeah, I want the subject to have some say in how I render it, too.

Once I decide what I’m going to turn my attention to I  pick a tool (i.e. camera)  that seems correct for the task. I think about how different cameras change how I approach a subject, and the subject reacts differently to different cameras.

With all this in mind I’ve decided to photograph November. And I’ve decided to photograph it with a 4×5 camera and 30 sheets of film.

And when I say I want to photograph November what I really mean is I want November to be a stand in for something else.

November. The month when things begin to die, when the weather turns inhospitable, when the light is something else. I have no idea what will happen, how it will turn out. I have a month and 30 sheets of film to find out.

Limitations.

AFTER THE FACT

Last week I mistakenly made a few prints on heavy archival paper. Rather than store them, or throw them out I had a special offer to include one in the next 4 copies of After the Fact that were sold.

There are two left. So for a measly 42 Canadian dollars the next two orders will get the book and one swell 10 inch print (suitable for framing). They have funny borders because of the way I printed them but, if you ask me, they’re still pretty sweet

Sad to say, because of mailing costs this offer is only good for folks in North America.

Go here to pick one up.

(note: There is now only one of these prints available.)

Author: Tony Fouhse

Tony is an Ottawa-based photographer.