Criticism can be devastating,
but praise can be even more dangerous
In May of 2008 I created The Ghosts of Auschwitz-Birkenau which was widely published and exhibited. In addition to the public success, I consider the work a personal success because I love and am proud of the images.
And with the success came congratulations, praise and then the advice....
The overwhelming consensus was that I needed to strike while the iron was hot and take advantage of the publicity the project was receiving. I was encouraged to create additional "The Ghosts of..." projects and ride the wave of success.
It was suggested:
- The Ghosts of 911
- The Ghosts of Little Big Horn
- The Ghosts of Manzanar
- The Ghosts of The Killing Fields
My initial reaction? No way! I was inspired to create the Auschwitz series and unless I was inspired to do another location, I'm not interested.
But the praise and encouragement just kept coming in: fantastic!...brilliant!...do another Ghost series... ride the wave...take advantage...you have a winning formula...this could be your ticket to the big time!
Slowly I was seduced and finally I agreed. I chose as my next Ghost project: The Ghosts of Great Britain. It was to be shot at the castles of England.
So off I went with my family in tow. My young daughter was to be my ghost and she brought her ghost costume: a white sheet with eye holes cut out. We went from castle to castle with her wearing the sheet as she spun or walked slowly for 30 second exposures.