Matt Perry

Preview image for the Amsterdam B-sides project

Photographer’s block

I have photographer's block and it began with Instagram.

Photo of Amsterdam

In part, it's because I followed some amazing photographers who appeal to my personal sense of aesthetic but do so with an inventiveness and boldness that I don't see a clear path to. The existence is inspiring but the chasm is dispiriting.

Photo of AmsterdamPhoto of Amsterdam

In part, it's because the age of Instagram has brought a perception of photography (the act and its product) as a littering. Cameras and pixels saturate our physical and virtual spaces.

There might be a sense of justification when you're creating something actually new, but there's a self-awareness that my cold, orthogonal compositions don't qualify.

Photo of AmsterdamPhoto of Amsterdam

Instagram obviously isn't to blame. More likely, it's my own tendency to perceive photography as performative. It is, but that perception coupled with a subconscious feeling that performance is for the very talented creates a downward mental pressure against which it's hard to find motivation.

Photo of AmsterdamPhoto of Amsterdam

This mechanical process of filtering the spacial and temporal mess of reality into a balanced two-dimensional stasis is intrinsically enjoyable. Surely that enjoyment should be motivation enough?