A new 8 part miniseries where Ottawa Photographer Tony Fouhse takes us through his new project, from the first photo to the book launch. Tony is an internationally exhibited and collected photographer who was formerly a full time editorial/commercial photographer. These posts originally appeared in his newsletter HYPO which you can subscribe to here to see more of his work visit his website here.

To pre-order Tony’s book go here.

Anatomy Of A Project
Episode Nº 8: The End

This mini-series, The Anatomy of a Project, began nine weeks ago with a post about the genesis of my current project, “The Garden”. The subsequent posts were (with one exception) about the wiggly path the project took, from creating the photographs to the struggle to edit and sequence the images into a cohesive whole, from laying out the book to the method of its launch.

Now I’ve reached the end. “The Garden” was officially launched this past Sunday at a Mini Popup Foto Festival.

I’d planned on concluding this mini-series by writing about that event. But upon reflection realize there’s no real point to that. The end should be the end.

Ending any mini-series is tricky. Do you wrap everything up in a nice package that explains everything that’s come before? Do you end on an enigmatic note, leave it up to the audience to make their own conclusions? For me, in this case, the end calls for rumination rather than description.

What is “the end” anyway?

Does everything just stop? How much do you want (or need) to reflect on the path that brought you to the end? Where do you go from here?

Let me answer those questions . . .

No, everything doesn’t just stop (obviously).

Reflection is good, it illuminates the path forward (unless you dwell, fixate, on the past).

The last question, where do you go from here?, is the trickiest. Do you repeat yourself because what you did was popular? Do you repeat yourself because that’s all you know? Do you repeat yourself because you’re afraid of failure? Do you do something different, informed by what you’ve just done? Do you do something different because it’s a big, multidimensional world? Do you do something different because you’re curious? Or what?

I can only speak for myself. Me, I use the camera as a tool of discovery. I don’t want to impose my “systems” on what I’m photographing. Sure, I have a history and certain ways of looking, thinking, and framing things. But I work hard to ensure the “subject” I’m photographing has some say. I want to meet the world halfway, want to approach the object of my attention (and interest), in a way that allows room for those people, places or things to come to me too. Therein lies discovery.

And I’ve always thought (believed) that discovery, moving forward, embracing risk and failure, was the whole point of being a conscious, alive person.

Now I’m going to step away from my camera until I’m ready to pick it up again. That might be a few weeks, might be a year. Who knows? (Who cares?) I’ll continue to garden, walk my dogs, shop for food and cook it, read, look, think.

When I do resume I’m pretty sure I’ll be looking for something different, looking at the world from a modified perspective. What, and how, that may be is to be determined. But I’m not worried.

I know that sooner or later something will grab me. And that will be a beginning.

My garden
Walking my dogs, Tim and Ellie
Making West African squash and groundnut stew

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