Texas Crew and the Darlings

This past semester Texas Crew was kind enough to let a strange kid with a camera accompany them to pre-dawn practices and follow them across the country crammed together in a small car or charter bus. Ever since I left Texas Crew to pursue my goals at The Daily Texan it was always a desire of mine to return and do a story on the sport that gave me so much. In self-editing photographs, we photographers find the saying “kill you darlings” an apt description for the selection process. This was especially difficult for me with these photos because I now realize they didn’t function very well for the story I was trying to tell, but I covered my bases decently enough to pull together seven or so photos into something publishable. Yet those weren’t the photographs I wanted to run; they weren’t my darlings.

I took pride, sometimes to the point of arrogance, in the idea that I was the only one I knew shooting rowing. I thought since I had rowed for a year that I knew enough about the sport to shoot it better than most of my peers. This mindset wasn’t completely misguided since there are in fact countless moving parts at a regatta and trying to figure out how that works on the fly would be overwhelming. I thought that my experience rowing would allow me a keener insight into the sport, in terms of the photography. This is also somewhat true.

But I struggled to make the images that I had never seen anyone else make; images that would ‘wow’ my peers. Instead of the tight, sharp, dynamic photos I wanted, I ended up with a lot of dark, blurry photos that carried a strange, detached aesthetic.  After looking at these photographs so much, I now realize that these darlings are my memories. They are photographs of my half-remembered flash-backs and experiences, seen through the not quite sharp lens or properly exposed frame that is memory.