It seems every time I give up on a photographer/artist, do to my perceptions of their pompousness, ego or snobbery, they further explain (not to me personally, but in their writings) their true philosophy, and I rejoin their fan club….so to speak. I always enjoy finding out that I “might have been” wrong, much more than I enjoyed thinking that they were somebody who suffered from “ego sickness” or “snobbery disease“. It kind of rekindles my faith in the art world. Without naming names, that discovery has occurred twice to me in the past two days.
Those writings, along with my own personal revelations, have caused me to explore, yet one more time, whether great photography is accomplished via inspiration (outside sources) , perspiration (hard work), or a form of meditation (from deep inside). The pragmatic man and the creative one that both live inside of me, want badly for the answer to be all three….and more.
Photography can be a mechanical process of shutter speeds and apertures, a creative process of light and composition, or a personal process of revealing what lurks deep down inside of us. It can also be a mixture of any of those and a myriad of other things that I am probably too grounded to see. Even using the supposition that those are the three ingredients to most photography, can you really divide the parts of the whole process that way? I mean, those mechanical choices such as shutter speed and aperture, deliver us to the creative decisions of light and composition. Those creative decisions, take us right back to the mechanics of making a picture. How many of those decisions, are concluded because of something we feel on the inside? In other words, at best, we use “everything we got”, to make images. When you leave nothing on the table, you’ve done your job whether or not anybody ever concludes your picture to be art, or not.
While I have been in the business of selling pictures, I was always the happiest, when I attempted (through work), to “look” and “see” to the best of my ability, and create an image that was faithful to that vision, regardless of what I would believe any future viewer would think about what I had accomplished. Some of those resulting images might be considered strictly informative and documentary, while many other images could be considered interpretive art to those same viewers. Way back then, that mattered to me. Today it is of little consequence. I think that when I operate under today’s lack of need for approval, my pictures, even those that were originally made with a desire for approval, make a better statement of what it means to me to create a photographic image. They say more about me, and less about my ego or my fear of failure.
Below we have five fine photographic artists. I did not select today’s images because I thought they were or were not art, but because they caught, and held my interest.
I love this wispy and ethereal interpretation of one of my favorite photographic locations, White Sands, New Mexico. Facebook friend Susan Mathia created the image and I am thankful she did.
Laurie Ruben is the photographer/artist behind this delightful image of a bee on a flower. A wonderful composition and use of depth of field with a common subject results in joy for the viewer.
How can you not appreciate an image of a beautiful wading bird (Flamingo) grooming itself, with a subtle reflection. The slight darkness around the edges help to shine the spotlight on the Flamingo. Whether the artist is the photographer or the bird, as I have concluded with my own wildlife imagery, it matters little. We are privileged to view the result. Gennady Rybalov is the picture’s creator.
I have been bringing you more images containing architecture, and other manmade objects lately, as well as pictures with actual human beings within their borders. I thought this picture made in Venice, Italy, of a vender reading a newspaper made a wonderful statement about the location. Daniel Schwabe made the image.
I’ve also been on the lookout for images that speak a different language than the usual. I think this Simona-Carmen Andreou picture of hands and flowers in black and white, may say more about the photographer than any of today’s pictures. It makes you wonder about the person connected to the hand, and what meaning the flowers have.
Whether photography is about art, visual records only, or anything else to you personally, it lives among subjects like writing, music, dance and more, as it should. It is almost entirely photographers that read this blog and if anything I write, or show on these pages, inspires you to get out and make pictures, I will have realized success beyond my wildest dreams.
Enjoy your day, Wayne