Friday, February 21, 2014

My Perspective Is Still That It's All About Perspectives

"....... realize that in photography, there is no ultimate “truth.” All photographs are lies in the sense that you decide what to show– and what to leave out. The photographs you take and share with the rest of the world are your personal interpretations of a scene..........."   Eric Kim

I love the serendipitous opportunities provided by the digital medium of hyperlinks. A journey begins and one never knows just where one may venture. 

Jamie McKenzie expresses it so well :  "...............Even though our culture often conspires to protect us from surprise, much of the power of Internet is to help us escape the boxes within which we live. We have carefully screened out information most of our lives. We are too often the prisoners of our cultures, our educational experiences and our biases. The internet can set us free........."
Admittedly  time consuming,  but also the perfect vehicle for learning and for me that's one of the great motivations in life. There's recently been a lot of discussion about  people seeking Constructive Criticism on images. The enjoyment of photography becomes stymied by the obligation to comment which is what tired me out on Flickr. I'd rather spend my time viewing, shooting and processing.  Subjective mediums are notoriously difficult to evaluate as each of us follows our own tastes. I can't recall how I ended up at Eric Kim Street Photography but his post - " 6 Lessons Joel Sternfeld Has Taught Me About Street Photographywas an interesting read.  It had particular relevance to me as I'm searching for my own style, not just reproducing the styles of others and with all the choices available I'm suffering from a severe bout of 'photo-glut' somewhat akin to Jamie McKenzies's 'info-glut'. I realise I need to be proactive and establish a basic workflow.. Therein lies the rub - too many choices. Therefore point #5 has great relevance for me. Perhaps it's the impetus I've been waiting for. I need to "stay on the fucking bus". Is it that easy ?

Some interesting perspectives harvested from the article:

1. When I started street photography, I would title all of my images with cheesy titles like: “Loneliness”, “Isolation”, or “Hope.” Although I had a great deal of fun titling my photographs, I soon realized that having a title took away all of the fun from my images. It didn’t let the viewer make up his or her own interpretation. It closed them out.

2. I highly recommend going on any photography road trip, whether it be for a weekend, an entire week, or perhaps an entire month

3. I think that too many of us as street photographers tend to only shoot people. I used to be that way. I thought that if a photograph didn’t have a person on it– that it wasn’t “street photography.”

4. I think describing a photographer’s “style” is generally two main things: 1) Their aesthetic “look” and 2) Their subject matter.

I don’t think that one aesthetic or “look” is necessarily better than the others– I just recommend consistency. In digital there is too much flexibility in how we can post-process our images. I can spend too much time post-processing my images– and a lot of my digital photographs look different. I would say when you are working on a certain project, book, or body of work– try to stick to one preset, and just make small adjustments from there.

6. While it is great to draw inspiration from other photographers, don’t simply try to copy them in the long-run. Use their work as a starting point– a blueprint. I then recommend working on projects or long-term series– staying consistent with a certain camera, film (or style of post-processing), focal length, and a concept. The Helsinki Bus Station Theory presents a great analogy

And ultimately -  the journey is its own reward

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