Or, I.W.I.T.o.T. (pronounced ee-wee-tot).
In my last post, referring to the work Julie Anand and Damon Sauer are doing, I mentioned I wished I'd thought of it first.
I've done some pondering on that statement and sentiment ever since I wrote the blog post, and I've reached a few conclusions.
We don't all live in the same circumstances. I can't make the sort of photographs I made in Rexburg when I was in college, and I can't make the sort of photographs that are made in the Sonora Dessert.
Julie and Damon didn't arrive at the images that are on their website in one moment, or flash of inspiration. If you watched the video on Youtube I linked to, which was recorded in 2015 (or at least posted then), you'll know that the project started with only photographs of the calibration markers. The overlays of the satellite paths didn't occur until later in the project.
A year ago, when I started taking my work seriously again, I would see all this great art of developed work, and get frustrated that I wasn't getting any grand epiphanies or ideas for a project, or a direction to take my work. I'm not saying that the direction that my work has taken recently is grand, but I do feel a lot excitement about it. They say "A journey of 1000 miles begins with just one step." I wouldn't be at the place I am now had I not taken the first step, and then the second, and third... And, as Pablo Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
We can't all have the same ideas; though I think at times there exists a sort of collective thinking, where two or more people are working on the a very similar idea. Look at Daguerre and Talbot. For those of you unfamiliar with the history of photography, in 1839 Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre presented his humbly named Daguerreotype process, which produced a one-of-a-kind, black and white image on a piece of silver plated copper, to the French Academy of Sciences. Shortly thereafter, William Henry Fox Talbot caught wind of this, and said "Hey wait! I've been working on something similar!" He first called his process, which produced a negative image on paper that was then contact printed on another sheet of paper to produce a positive image, the Talbotype, but later settled on naming it the Calotype. And thus, photography was born.
If we all had the same ideas, the world would be a pretty bland place to live in.
So, I'm going to (try to) stop wishing I'd thought of that, and instead, begin with appreciating all the fantastic work I find, and keep producing my own work.