Yesterday, late as always, I read Eric Jeschke’s “Red Skies at Night”, and I commented on his post “Tools That Get In The Way Of Making Great Photographs“.
Eric is planning to change his way of photographing, going from “found” images to “conceptional” images. He said that
I was reminded of a fundamental piece of advice about photography: that you need to take photographs of things or ideas that you are passionate about. If you do that one thing, the technique and all the rest will come along and the photographs will be great. If you are not passionate about the subject, the viewing audience will know it and feel it.
and then he lists kind of a recipe
I think I can sum up my lessons learned in five points, in order of importance, for making this kind of photographs:
- Find your subjects (for which you have a passion)
- Brainstorm, imagine and visualize your photographs
- Write them all down religiously; organize your visions into a plan
- Bring your love of photography
- Use the tools and skills to make the photograph match the vision
This made me think.
I mean, so many people go conceptional, concentrate on “their subject”, and it’s really almost a requirement for being recognized in the Art world at all to work like that. Why don’t do I?
Mark Hobson regularly raises the topic of consistent bodies of work, and I can vaguely remember having written in a comment that I simply don’t feel like it, don’t have the time for the required strictness, and that this possibly may change some time in the future, only not now. I can also remember that not even I found this entirely convincing, but that I somehow also lacked the time to properly think about it. Instead I just carried on.
Yesterday, while reading Eric’s post it occurred to me though, and here I quote from my own comment:
Basically my images are found images, but so often what seems to be the subject is really only the physical place where I saw what the true subject is: relations of geometric forms, lines, shapes, proportions, colors, balance. Really most of my images are abstract, the subject being some geometric sub-structure. Like the bicycles: it isn’t about bikes at all, it is about lines in three-dimensional space, projected onto the sensor. At least that’s what my composition process currently is, what I look for, how I see photography and what I’m passionate about.
I arrange lines, shapes colors and proportions until I feel balance. The subjects are really not that important to me. One day I may arrive at the same point as you have, but from another direction. And as always, Mark Hobson is already there. But then, he had quite a head start 😀
Today’s image, taken while I rushed to the train, is a good example for what I mean. I was in a hurry, so this is very likely not the best solution that I’m possibly capable of, but the problem clearly was one of balance – and of an angle of view that we all badly under-utilize 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Confessin’ The Blues” from the 1964 Rolling Stones album “12 X 5”. Good year, I can tell ya’ 😉
Hear it on YouTube.