Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Selecting a subject

I thought I had posted this article before.... but I can't find it so here it is again..

It is an extract from the book: "On being a photographer". One of my all time favourite books on photography.

Article is titled: Selecting a Subject.

I've read this several times. I'm revisiting it now as a Flickr discussion has got me thinking about my photography and what I am actually trying to do with it.

With the flood of photography on the net there has been a real jostling for attention and thumbnail photography. We see an overload of cliched images - saturated long exposure sunsets, flower macros, HDR, photoshop manipulations - all stuff I've done myself, but am getting quite bored of it all.

In this culture of vacuous prettiness, the camera can become a tech toy rather than a photographic tool. There can be too much emphasis on showing off technical skill and camera tricks.

The goal of photography should not be produce nice photos. The camera should be used to transmit an idea or feeling that the photographer is passionate about.

Good photography arises when one can capture something that has personal significance and convey that meaning to others in an asthetically pleasing image. The camera is the chosen tool used by the photographer to understand the world and share that understanding with others.

So one needs to overcome the fascination with the camera and themselves and look to the world for inspiration. When they are passionate about something, they can create good photographs. That's what I need to do. I have several projects in mind...

I've been going on about this for quite a while. Really gotta get a change of approach going.

Update 27/11/07
- found the link to the entire book "On Being a Photographer".