Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 13, 2014

I was talking with a photographer friend and we were discussing the new auto pilot cameras.  He remembered one time a person approaching him and exclaiming wow what a camera it must take great pictures.  My friend said yes it does and to prove it I will leave it here and walk away and come back in a half-hour and I bet it will have taken some outstanding images.  My friend laughed and said he was just pulling the guys leg but wanted to let the person know that the images are created by the photographer and not the camera.  Yes, today's cameras take a lot of the thinking out of the equation in taking pictures. But in order to create images with substance you need to be visually literate.

We have all taken an image and then looked at it and deleted it because it had no visual interest, just another blah image with no purpose.

When I take images I am intensely aware of my surrounding and I am in tune to the mood of the crowd and the subjects presenting themselves to me.

What makes photography fun is creating that connection with your subject and in that bond finding an image you can feel proud of.

Henri Cartier-Bresson states, " To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality.  It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy".

Sunday, September 7, 2014

August 24, 2014

Erich Kahler, " What else did these great author express, (Nietzsche, Dostoievsky, Tolstoy and others) most of them with the help of a newly developed psychological perception, but the deep unrest, uneasiness and alarm at the effects of our modern middle-class civilization: the increasing hollowness and precariousness of conventional values, the derangement of human relations?

When we go out to take images with a cell phone we tend to free wheel the compositions with a run and gun mentality.  The ease of use makes us think that this is what is required to capture the moments in our daily lives. We really don’t need to think about our subjects because we have other things on our minds and time is a wasting.  We see nature as objects to exploit for our own gain.

The massive of amount of cellphone pictures being taken confines us to an ego driven imagery without a true connection to the external world. They are quick and easy with no thinking involved to finding a purpose but to promote your life on a social media website.   That's ok if you want to follow the herd mentality that weakens your photo making by degrading the beauty of our ordinary life. What I mean by an ordinary life is the true structure of our society .  A life built around benevolence, values and family.  The movement away from the beauty of an ordinary life is a fragmentation of self, leaving us confused and despondent on how to reach out on our own personal trek and move away from the helter-skelter existence of must be seen media, as if we truly belong to the shallow driven image creators vision of the new selfie.

Can we rectify the intuitive creation of an image with its counterweight the selfie.  Are they the same? Gustave Kahn a French symbolist poet resisted stringent rules of meter, rhyme and rhythm. And yet through his intense inner eye described a world fresh and immediate through his unconfined mind.

We are creatures of habit and really don't want to push ourselves beyond an easy road to expression. All digital cameras can take the picture for you without a moments reflection.  Why was I attracted to this subject in the first place is never asked nor answered as we capture the subject in auto mode. This easy road of expression, in this new culture of shallow driven abstractions, creates an atmosphere of non-thinking, an unwillingness to go deeper and analyze the scene beyond its structural purpose.

But when we go out to create images with intent we assume a different mode of thinking.  We have our intuitive antenna’s up and we are seeing things at a deeper level.  We are building a relationship with our subjects and are interacting with them on a more profound level and through this interaction we are not forgetting our inner self and its need to communicate to others a new and different perception. We are searching for an expression through an image that can reveal something of ourselves and the human condition. The great thing about pursuing an image on an intense level is that through that exploration you will find side roads to take that will further enhance your relationship with the subject and will lead to new ideas and compositions that seemed unrelated to your first impression of your subject but now has become the crucial purpose of your inner vision.