It took the solstice of summer and a major heatwave to get going, but today I took one more step in my learning process about all things photographic: exhibiting my work in real life as opposed to sharing it online.
I must thank the people at Oasys, the professional transition coaching firm in Paris, for having kindly hosted my Japan work today. For two reasons, mainly.
One, Their invitation to showcase my images forced me to finally take the plunge and get into baryta paper output, a medium that I had never to date practiced and is instead a pleasure to work with: creamy, warm highlights, deep blacks, the whole deal. Beats a screen hands down, and in 18"x12" (45x30cm) size, already an expanse of ink that one can get lost in (next, go bigger!).
Two, the day was focused on two live comment sessions, and made me touch in person how an image strikes people's attention much more strongly if it comes with context. In this case, sharing with visitors the impressions and emotions that a month's worth of wanderings and discoveries in Japan left with me. People will still see what they will want to see in the actual images, but they will be much more strongly invested in what they see if they have been primed for it by sharing with them your emotional rationale (sounds like a contradiction in terms; it is not) for choosing your subjects and frames. And in turn, you as the photographer receive a jolt of positive energy that I think I'll find precious in seeking my next images and choosing my next project. (Which may well be a return to Japan, to tell you the truth...)