Max Edvardson: The struggle to create

The Struggle to create something meaningful for yourself or others is real.
And thats what I want to write about in this experience based article.

I stranded on an island for a few weeks, of course i did not bring money or have any
connections then. Nice move of me btw.
Well, it forced me to forget about the glamorous landscapes or swiveling Auroras surrounding me.
The mountaineers with their humongous, always running Jeeps or the „Helicopter-Ride into a volcano or what ever“ commercials certainly did not help to brighten my mood.
As you can read, I wanted a ride away from the city to celebrate solitude, canned dishes and lots of Portra 800.
It took two frustrating and destructive weeks to realize what romantic nonsense that is.
Fed up with being fed up dealing with my own shortcomings I somewhat had to radically
abandon all thoughts and considerations I had about a big trip outside the city.
Maybe just as fast as the idea had come to me.
This change debuffered my situation and gave me time to get bored.


A blessing in disguise

Acceptance of your own fate is tough. I barely manage it to be honest.
While walking the same streets over and over and shooting a bit here and there, all sort of single frames only connected because they were shot by me in the same streets, I still did not get that feeling of accomplishment. It was at the computer screen when a few photographs reacted to each other by accident. Just a random display of content in my „not sure“-folder triggered a hunch of common thread or Leitmotif. Quickly I marked a few files that seemed important to that new interesting thing that just opened up in (front of) me.


Investigation time

  • Why do I like these specific pictures (three in the beginning)?
  • Is it something technical or a strong connection I link together?
  • Does it vibe just right or is it harsh documentary?

In my case it was simple definite forms that gave attraction.


„Less“ is not „more“. „More“ is „More“.
And „Less“ has no connection to „Strong“ on its own.
„Strong“ doesn’t care – „Strong“ only cares for balance of the „Strongs“.
ugga ugga, Je suis Strong!

Obvious, right?
Still, simplicity might be the ultimate sophistication. Yes, that is a quote from the internet.
Does it matter? Not now at least.
My teacher called it the principle of „good Gestalt“ but we all know it is the „Law of Prägnanz“.
It´s a small part of Gestalt psychology and many people have written about it in a transparent way.
Give it a go and get inspired!


At first I downgraded my expectations in the decisive drehmoment.
Meaning I was not looking for possible subjects or compositions with multiple interesting coincidences happening in the frame while torquing with the swarm. I was looking for somewhat sternly shapes that hold some structure or gamut within. Not even necessarily something anthropomorphic in the frame (RIP Susan Sontag). Also no overlapping or other disturbances of the shape of interest.
And then it went really fast.







welcome back to my identity crisis
Aha, ehm …yes. the photographs are not the „most“ pictures ever. I, if I ever think about it, consider them a study to help myself channeling my ambition and to strengthen my ability to communicate inspiration in our supranational world.


Light at the end of the tunnel

There is none.
Photography is like a direct lever, the quality of the outcome is depending of how „StRoNg“ you pushed into it.
But how can someone see more than before? Understand wider?
Accumulate more sparks of Interest and joy? Or think more intense?
I have no idea what works for you, my friend.


My personal recipe is somewhat like this:

  • Get out photographing everyday, likely the same spots, different times, at least one lousy Photo.
  • Put your keepers in a separate folder.
  • Review the folder at the end of the week through presentation mode.
  • Actually watch the whole presentation without interrupting again, delete or highlight from memory.
  • Some pictures need more time to be consumed, take your time to get in the mood of „curating“.


3 last tips:

It´s very hard to curate a single photo.
Á series of photos might probably be stronger.
Most of us aren’t Konsta Punkka or Sebastião Salgado nor Cindy Sherman or Margaret Bourke-White with their personal history and resources. At least I am not.
Even when your contents of the images itself are not as strong depicted as they could have been on a stand alone photo, together the twigs might form a mighty faggot.

Please check out the wonderful art of Max Edvardson here.





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