Ricardo Dominguez Alcaraz

Blog

Blog about the Photography and the life, at the end are the same.

Anxiety

We are anxious people. Yes, you too. We want everything fast, we want everything now. Our things as well: we want to do it fast and immediately we want the reward for doing it. We need it now, and then we can go to the next thing. Then we complain because, well, what would become of us, humans, without complaining about everything, even if we are right or not?

A quick, quick example: when I worked at a food delivery company (which I will not say because if they want publicity, they should pay for it because they have money) they urged me to do everything quickly. To me, that I go at my pace, I was squeezed even more. If I did it right, I was not going as fast as they wanted; and if I did it fast, I did not do it as well as I should. So one of those days I raised the question: fast or good. They wanted both, but the two could not be. In the end, they chose "fast". Well, an empire of pepperoni and barbecue does not grow up doing things right.

The Spanish proverbs, which are very wise, although I suppose the rest of the world will also be, has a saying that says that to do things well you have to "go slowly and with good lyrics". I'm a lot of that saying, I identify a lot with it. I believe fervently in the need to do things well, of quality. Before the quantity, the quality. Rather than run aimlessly, go slowly, enjoy and learn from the environment you are travelling. Some time ago, in an interview, they asked me about why I do not have a big body of work on my website. I do not remember very well what I said, I suppose it would be about what I am telling you: I do not want to run, I should not run. Sometimes I cannot either, which can be beneficial: the projects are simmered and when they are ready they usually have more flavour.

Among the fellow photographers, there is a feeling that you have to always be there, with something new to show, something to exhibit, something to include in a photo book. To have something so that your name does not stop ringing to the world. Something that makes you get likes, comments, followers and a pat on the back on a regular basis. We live in constant anxiety to be, to appear, to have an image of professional success (and therefore personal). We are buzzed. As everyone, in general. If not, take a tour around your neighbourhood or any social network. We all live from our image and in the world of creation (of images), too.

Is that anxiety worth it? Well, there will be opinions for all tastes depending on your own experience and expectations. To me, that anxiety is not worth it. Maybe is because of my character, which is quite calm. Maybe if I were more nervous I would have more than what I have, but I doubt it: what I have, I have thanks to this calm way of doing things. It is reflected in my images of fact. I think that time is the only thing that allows you to develop well a work, a thought, a way of doing (and seeing). It is the only thing that can give you judgment when making decisions. It is totally necessary to take time.

But we have anxiety. We need seem to look active. Yes, "seem" is the verb, not the "being": "seem". We need to be seen as dynamic, light, dominant and omnipresent. Social networks help, but in our DNA is already given, so they only make you develop and take to the next level that desire to be and, above all, seem to be.

We see photos everywhere, lots of photos and a few long and deep projects. Many pictures without meaning. Many projects taken with pins. We see a lot of everything. I do not dare say if we see much quality or not. Here we return to the subjective: what is photographic quality? For my part, I think there is everywhere (if you know where to look for). There are people doing extraordinary projects. Of course, many of them are hidden, covered or drowned among hundreds and thousands of images and projects ravenous and egocentric well promoted by this or that, only seeking to attract attention, looking for likes in networks or just a bit of love. And hey, this is fine. But this is precisely when you realize that many people do not want to take time to take pictures or even talk about long and deep projects: they just want to take photographs to look like something or someone.

Today is not styled to be like an ant that goes without haste but without pause. Today is styled to be, want to be, appear to be a star, fleeting, bright and effulgent for which his work is only good if it has many likes or is able to drag a large number of followers in and out of the network. It is no longer fashionable to spend years working and developing a project, a look, a way of seeing the world and thus be able to explain it with a voice of its own. Today only is wanted and looked for (by some sector of the art market) a gimmicky photo, a short project, striking, groundbreaking (?) and shocking that does not have any sense so someone with gallons of "expert" must explain it to the crowd and make you believe that what you see it is something visionary, super cool, with a superior artistic discourse (!) and super necessary for all of us, mere mortals.

It is not fashionable that things last. Neither the images nor what they make you feel. In fact, right now I doubt that whoever sees them will stare at them for more than two seconds. How can you understand an image if you almost cannot see it with some time? How can you read and let them talk to you if you don’t look them with some time? It's impossible. So, consequently, the images made and consumed by all of us are all those "rainbow" images, ultra-saturated, with HDR (badly done) on all sides and without any sense, with extreme angular lenses, ultra-focused and in 4K, of course. Pornographic photos (porn is not only tits and penises) Photos that wants being closer, deep and intense and that do not even touch the surface of what they intend to talk, because they do not really want, but above all (and there is the misfortune) because they do not know or want to know it as long as the likes arrives.

And all this is because we do not want to waste our time. And that is exactly how it is wasted. On the part of everyone: who you who see and consume the images and who those of us who make them.

Photography is a language. Above all and above everything. Takes a lot of time to learn it, use it and express yourself with it. But everything today is a matter of urgent needs, a matter of the “market needs”. Everything is quite depressing.