#30: First Cold Walks of the Year

#30: First Cold Walks of the Year

Plus Dudley Greer on Editing; Soth on Failure, Exercise & the Brain, and more links!

Happy New Year! Thanks for tuning back in. Let’s get this out of the way. January and February are my least favorite months of the year because they are generally the coldest, darkest and snowiest, which makes for challenging walking and challenging good moods. But I’ve found keeping a morning walking routine has done wonders this winter so far. I typically walk 45 minutes to the train which gives me a nice energy boost to start the day.

I’m excited for the new year and to launch the new project and podcast. We’ve got a name. We’ve got a logo. We’ve been editing the first episodes of the podcast. It’s all coming together nicely but I’m also nervous. It’s been a few years since the end of the LPV Show and this new project will take me into new territory. While I’m confident about the path we’re one, the execution is always challenging, and we’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with field audio and narrative. But that’s part of the process and part of the podcast is about the creative process, so we’re building in the layers from the beginning.

What have you been up to? Any books on walking, hiking or plants on your radar? Drop me line at info@bryanformhals.com or ping me on Twitter.

“It is a puzzle, and you move one piece, suddenly nothing fits,” he says. He had done some edits on his computer after each of his trips, and had tried sequencing the book on screen. As he felt close to the end of shooting, he says, “I remember making prints and stacking them and then flipping through them, and that experience was incredibly different from looking at them when they’re bound.” Once the images were bound together as pages, he says, “Certain things are revealed to you—that clearly doesn’t work, this works better.” - [PDN]

Interesting look into the editing process and how it evolved through feedback over the years. If you’ve read these type of pieces, a similar pattern emerges: get feedback from trusted peers, kill your darlings, print then edit, be ready to pivot.

Alec Soth on Abandoning Projects

But one thing that photography has going for it, unlike a lot of other art forms, is the fact that if I abandon a project it’s not total destruction. At least the pictures are still pictures, they can sit in my archive, and maybe down the road they’ll have a life in something else. Even though the project didn’t come to fruition, I know that I still have good individual pictures from that work, and that’s somehow comforting to me.  So that helps on the emotional side. The main thing is understanding that everything leads me to something else; it’s all just part of the process. - [Magnum]

One thing I enjoy about Alec Soth interviews is that you can tell he always tries to reveal new information about his process. This conversation with Aaron Schuman is packed with insights. I think about abandoning projects all the time. I have folders in the archive with ideas that I go back to every now and again to see if I can make it work. I normally never clicks, so I’m not sure why I even bother. They’re just photographs, right?

Exercise is a prime mover of the brain

"We're not only adding brain cells, but we're making the brain cells that we have that much better. Exercise is a prime mover of the brain, helping it to deal with emotional ups and downs as well as anxiety, tension, stress, and help the brain function better. The more we exercise, the better our brain gets, the more focused we can be, and the smarter we are. All those are facts, not just idle speculation." - wbur

I’ve been in one of those phases where I look back on my life and wish I knew then what I know now. It’s a rather futile endeavor and tends to just make me depressed. But I have been wondering how things might be different if I’d got hooked on walking earlier in my twenties, at least to the degree that I am now. Of course, I could not have arrived at this point with out all of the false starts and searching. Time and age are an illusion anyway. I’ve never felt younger (except for that nagging pinched nerve in my neck.)

Further Reading

I’m a photographer, editor and creative collaborator working in New York City. You can email me at info@bryanformhals.com or follow me on Instagram & Twitter