Monday, 8 January 2007

Photography: The big secret (Part 2)

traffic and fumes in a city In part 1 I discussed use of words in photographs. In this article I thought I'd illustrate this device futher by adding the left hand image. This is as an example of good use of words to 'fix' an image in a certain context. The sentiment and mood of the photograph leave very little doubt how I felt. They also make it very clear to the observer what I was thinking at the moment I took this picture. Additionaly I used tone and contrast in the developing process to further emphasise this bleakness in my mood.

In this case I feel the fixing of the image in a set context with words is not a bad thing. I think this is because the situation illustrated is one many people recognise and can identify strongly with. This means they can project themselves and their own experience into the image identifying and engaging with the photograph in the process. That is to say they can have an emotional response to the picture.

As a slight side note, in a previous post named 'Breaking Photographic Rules' I was asked an interesting question. The question was as follows:

'It's hard to break the rules if you don't know them. does this mean that the untrained amateur photographer has a decent chance of making a living if he is doing what he loves to do? '

I was most definitely an untrained amateur when I took the picture in this article and I think I did OK? So yes I'd say its perfectly possible to make it. Just pay attention to little details they really matter. Also work at developing your own style and your own take on things. Always pay attention to use of light. Its a critical aspect of photographyand far to vast to cover in this article. My most important pointer isthat you don't become obsessed with equipment or with mimicry of other photographers. Both these errors sound the death knell to your fledgling creative talent.

This question does lead me to wonder what is success to a photographer? I don't think its monetary. That's just my opinion of course. I feel that like music, art, writing or any other creative urge you should do it for love of the creative process not monetary success. The world does not need another snake oil salesman. However a new way of seeing would be most welcome.

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