Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Love Photographs

I don't especially love photography, or the camera. Fundamentalist photographers do not like my work. I've been looking for recognition from the wrong people.

Reality is just a starting point. Reality exists only in the mind. People think the camera captures reality, but it doesn't. It captures reflected light. We can't see the light. We can only see reflected light, we make up our own story for what it means to us.

The silver fork reflects light. This one is reflecting the light of my bedside lamp. The chiffon scarf is reflecting light in a different way. The exposure is .8 sec, & in that time I twisted the camera as I was moving it closer to the subject. This camera refocused in that .8 sec to catch the details of the fibres woven together to make the scarf, adding interesting details.

I love photographs. Don't love photography that much.

A digital camera makes a technically impressive image possible for anyone. All it takes is the money to buy one. Digital PP takes money and time, but there are plenty of plug-ins & actions to buy that shorten the learning curve.

The result is an ocean of technically impressive photographs that leave nothing to to the imagination of the audience.  I suspect that most people want nothing left to their imagination because they don't have an imagination, but that's another soap-box.

The photographer went there, did that, & has the pictures to prove it. The photographer never gave the audience a thought. The audience gives a quick, possibly admiring, glance & moves on, never thinking of the photographer.

With the same digital camera it is possible to create photographs that give the audience something to do, and a reason to do it, to react to the image in a personal, unique way. An incomplete, or flawed, or ambiguous image offers the viewer  a personal experience, a chance to create a way into the image that makes it more personal, memorable, more powerful, different each time, different for every person who views it.

The photograph should evoke something outside the frame. A really good photograph will turn its photographer into a participating audience member.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. I saw your Flying Pig thread at DPC. It's the most thoughtful and interesting subject I ever saw raised in a thread at that place, though of course it's struggling for breath there. We're I still there, I'd be an enthusiastic participant in it.

    In my time at DPC I thought often about why most people were so apparently afraid of hearing what was not said; of seeing what was not shown in a photograph. Why so many were enthusiastic about photography, yet oblivious to photographs.

    I think the answer is lack of curiosity. Nothing in art matters more than curiosity. It's the difference between viewing a foreign land through the window of a speeding package tour bus, versus abandoning the bus and walking around meeting the people and eating their food, hearing their music, maybe crashing a wedding.

    The DPC folks are mostly still on the bus.

    Paul (ubique)