Let me put a disclaimer first. I am just a person who loves taking photos and making up stories and hopes to be somewhat creative and artistic one day.
With that said, this post is merely my random ramblings. I use this blog to document my experiments and ideas and this is but a part of that.
So with that unasked for preface, here goes 🙂
It’s a long standing point of discussion regarding the classification of photography. It’s a craft some say and some call it art. The lines between the two however seem to be really blurry. Because to master an art, you need to master the craft first. Conversely however, mastering the craft does not an artist make. Is what I think at least.
With the advent of the digital age, the possibility of becoming a photographer has been opened up for anyone with a camera. Learn the basics, add good technique and thought, and with practice, one can easily become a good photographer. Because to master a craft needs intelligence and hard work. But photography does extend beyond that, doesn’t it?
A few days ago, a friend, who is an outstanding photographer btw, and I, had a slight difference of opinion. Thing is, my camera is always (always) set to super vivid because I love bringing out vibrant colors in my photos. Even in a dusty street scene I see the bright, bold and shiny first and the dust later. And his point was that he prefers to portray a scene exactly as he saw it. And I completely respect that opinion. But then he commented that if one wanted to make art, they should go paint, not indulge in photography.
And that got me thinking. Being a skilled craftsman enables you to repeatedly create great stuff. But are you moved to tears by a beautifully made table?
Think of names like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Alfred Stieglitz .. (If you haven’t yet, please do check out their work). When looking at the images these masters have created, one point consistently jumps out at me. And that is not just their tack sharp images or perfect focus or exact exposure. It’s the ‘feel’ of the photo that stays with me. The story it is telling. The emotional response that it evokes. The composition. The colors or the lack of them. If it is a landscape, the feeling of being part of the scene.. the feel of water at my toes or smell of the ocean just by looking at the image. Is a portrait a replica of the person’s face or is the ‘person’ behind the face visible?
To me these aspects make a great photo.
Anywho, lets stop with the rambling and get on with today’s photo.
I discovered another photographer recently. Cindy Sherman. This lady is something. A lot of her work is provocative and a bit too edgy for my taste but I am fascinated with her series of untitled film stills she did in the late 70s. She took photos of herself portraying various women characters in film. They don’t look like self portraits at all. It’s almost like she is the character she photographs. And then of course I wanted to try it out. Because I’m original that way :p
So what are your thoughts? whether you are a pro or whether you make photos for fun, do you think about photography beyond making good looking images?