Not So Brief After All?

Ok so shoot me. In the last few days I've managed to take a small step back and breathe a little, there is light at the end of the tunnel after-all. So without further ado I am going to ramble on for a few sentences, my apologies to both my readers if you came here for something scintillating?

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I mentioned recently that I'd been in the hills for a few days, photos on flickr to come, it was a small school excursion, that had me in the hills. Whilst there, I had a "discussion" with another photographer regarding, craft and image making with a camera, and the resulting images, or rather prints.

Basically the photographer felt that the image was paramount, the act of making the image or capturing the moment, the only motivation needed all else was secondary.

Being a camp and a weekend, I was in no mood to try and get him to think any other way.

This particular photographer is prolific, perhaps too prolific. He carries his 35mm film camera everywhere, a good thing I might add, he makes a lot of images, also a good thing. What he doesn't do is take the time to print his images in a way that makes them exceptional. So today I then wondered why not just use a 2 mega-pixel point and press, or a mobile phone? Why lug around a camera tha requires extensive input, pre-exposure and post exposure to make an image? Lo-fi cameras such as my Sony Ericsson Mobile Phone camera and my wife's Minolta 4 mega-pixel camera, now do an adequate job of representing the world placed in front of them, under the right conditions.

This then got me thinking about cameras and our relationship to them. Understanding how these machines work and appreciating their limitations forms a major part of the process of image making. If someone can let go of the technology and understand what a camera is and isn't capable of this act can potentially lead to images that push the boundaries of what a photograph is and what a photograph says.

After nearly 20 years of image making using a variety of film formats from 126 through to 5 x 4 inches, as well as several pro-sumer digital formats, I've come to appreciate the things I've learnt about light and surfaces and composition. I've come to learn the limitations of film, paper, Charged Coupler Devices, digital files and lenses. I've also come to appreciate the way the camera, hides, lies and distorts. Nothing gives me greater joy than to see a well printed image of something that I think I can recognise, as most definitely a photograph of something, but needs a second look to understand exactly what it is.

Only superb craftsmanship can produce this kind of image, and my understanding of image making is that there is a whole chain of inter-relationships that depend on each other to produce quality images. Once one of these links are broken, the results are cut loose and float uncontrollably.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by s2art published on December 7, 2006 10:08 AM.

Time For Reflection? was the previous entry in this blog.

How Flickr Got Started is the next entry in this blog.

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