It’s funny isn’t it, the things you overhear?
I was sitting close to someone who was pontificating about cameras, photography generally, and comparing the DSLR to mobile phone imagery. He blustered on for quite some time about how the mobile phone will eventually take the place of the DSLR – simply because they were so cheap to buy……. I have to wonder if he’s taken a look at the prices of some of the new smart phones these days, and how much thought went into this rather ‘definite’ remark.
The speaker (who is probably the greatest photographer on the planet), went on to explain that images that could be classified as ‘art’ probably weren’t. They didn’t meet his criteria for photography – in that all images should be sharp, front to back, and always reflect the ‘human condition’ – whatever he thought that to mean – he wasn’t too clear on that point…
I have been criticised in the past for abstract images I have made with the drone, and in fact a couple of places I did talks for in the last year actually said that drone pictures should be banned (I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog post). The question ‘did it really look like that?’ Is asked of me frequently, and of course the answer is usually a resounding ‘No’. I’m more than happy to crop, double expose, change colours and so on, to suit my mood on the day, drone picture or otherwise.
My own work is really more akin to fiction writing than absolute fact, I’d like to think there’s some input from me, but admit to taking a lot of inspiration from anywhere I can get it. What I don’t do (I hope) is push my opinions on people who are just starting their own photographic journeys….
Sadly, there are those photographers who are so insular in their ideas that they fail to look outside their own metaphorical window, fail to see the beauty in something that isn’t sharp – and in fact make images that are so precise, that they fail to have any soul.
It’s such a shame that some people can’t see ‘the wood for the trees’ as my mum used to say.
Most photographers that I know can understand and ‘see’ images made from passion, creativity and thought, images that go beyond ‘record’ (and I use that term in its loosest form).
To quote from Guy Tal “Postulating about what amounts to ‘objective reality’ is the business of scientists, journalists, judges and priests”
I know one person who has a wonderful texture and sewing background – she makes beautiful images of waving reeds, and sees textures in grasses and leaves. She takes great pleasure in making these images – so who are we to say that what she is doing is not creative, or ‘real’ photography…..
Moving on from that rather sultry remark to more general things…..
I’m taking a month off during August from social media (and spend time catching up with blog posts), after helping to organise our local camera club activities for the last 16 months of the pandemic. Three of us have worked tirelessly over that time, to provide a superb programme of events for the club members, and it’s time for a break.
Yesterday was day 1, and I took my bike up to the Humber Bridge and cycled across it – it may not sound that exciting, but it’s been something that I have wanted to do for the last three years. I’m hoping that during this month of August I can do more things that I’ve put off – and maybe try to put the Covid fears I have experienced to rest.