Friday night, I told David Bayles that I was working on photography about four hours a day, and that seemed to be the right amount of time for me. We got into a discussion of the work ethic of some photographers. David said that Brett Weston immediately processed his film upon returning from a photographic trip, sometimes being in the darkroom at one in the morning.
I can see that. I’ve lived much of my life with that kind of intense focus, but that’s not what I want now. I am serious about photography. I am comfortable with that seriousness. But I won’t let photography run my life.
On Saturday, I started doing infrared slit scan photographs of some cirrus clouds. I worked for most of the morning. There weren’t very many clouds, and the structures were too small for the 47 mm lens I was using. Around one o’clock, some really spectacular clouds started to roll in. I looked down the valley, and saw many more similar clouds.
I had been planning on going to Brigitte Carnochan’s lecture at the Center for Photographic Art that day. “Ah, well,” I said, as I packed up my camera gear. “They’ll probably be some clouds when I get back.”
There weren’t. When I returned, the sky was bald.
I missed the best pictures of the day, but I heard a great lecture and got to see my friends at the Center.
If I had known that the clouds were going to go away, I would’ve done the same thing anyway. What kind of photographer does that make me?