Friday, November 16, 2007

more keith carter

I finished watching the AnthropyArts documentary on Keith Carter last night. I really enjoyed the whole thing and if you are interested in his work or process I'd highly recommend it. There is a 1 hour documentary and then another hour with Keith describing his favourite images and the back story to them. You can tell that he really loves photography and is really taken with the people and stories that he captures.
At one point he talks about getting out of slumps in his photography. Firstly, acknowledging that they always happen but that you just have to work through them. Inspiration doesn't come if you are sitting around waiting on it, you have to just keep on working and then eventually you'll find it. Productivity as a means to being creative.
The second thing that struck me was how he finds his project ideas - it'll just be a phrase or a comment or something that catches his attention - but then he'll work on it for years. Just simple ideas taken further than most people do. A song with the word mojo in it spawns a 2 year project. A casual comment about a blue man creates a trek across Texas, little triggers changing the direction of his life, because he's open to them. He mentions Joseph Campbell and the idea that small chance events can become major stories and he seems to live by that.
The documentary also gives good insight into his shooting techniques and equipment choices - he describes landing on one camera body and one lens and just sticking with it for almost all his photography. There's details on how he achieves the style and look to a lot of his images. A really well made documentary all round. Recommended if you like his work.