Friday, January 22, 2010

My Camera has arrived

I don't pretend to be interested in photography. I love it, I love seeing the pictures my clever husband takes, and photos from digital whizz kids like vic, , my lovely cousin laura, and rachel callander:

I'll never forget the first time a set of photos had an emotional impact on me. Photos someone had taken which captured emotion, sensation, passion. I was there, present and immersed. I almost cried. the thousand words.

Somehow apertures and iso don't stick in my brain, though they have been explained, and I'm not really interested in learning them, they seem to mix maths too much with art for me - or maybe it's just laziness on my part? Maybe it becomes less laboured and technical as you learn it and then it becomes intuitive, not breaking your flow of thinking, just like mixing colour becomes instinctive if you paint.

three things strike me:

1. How accessible photography has become, and how the level of amateur photography now days is incredible. How much harder it is to take stand out photographs.

2. How quite often the size of your camera seems to represent, well, prowess. if you know what I mean. I do get quite turned off by oohing and aahing over the latest mega-lense and technological advancement of desire. I admire the modest camera on which Malcolm has taken many of his beautiful images. The skills of composition/ subject choice and using your camera to the limits of its possibilities come to the fore. There's a satisfying subversion in this paradigm for me, like painting something great from housepaint on the side of a cardboard box. But then again, at a certain point, your tools do limit your possibilities. Pushing those boundaries of tools versus skill. maybe that's what being an artist is partly about.

3. How the image is prevalent. It's the age of images. full-colour full-page glossy saturated airbrushed images. sexualised images, exoticised images,cookbooks with luscious pictures. I found out only recently that there's photographers entirely specialising in taking pictures of food, which makes sense, but wow! I know a woman who worked in design.She kept her bedroom deliberately free of all ornaments, images and clutter. She had white walls and a white bedspread and not much else, because her working world was so full of images. It's always stuck with me, as i have a tendency to the opposite, to surround myself with images of my choosing. I can't help but wonder what constant image immersion does to us psychologically. On one hand, an image can act like a verbal shorthand, symbolising in brief a concept or stereotype, causing us to disengage our thinking. On the other hand, images can be deliberately ambiguous, mysterious and complex. engaging with an image can be a stimulus for the imagination. Maybe it's both, depending on the image. Maybe that's why i like Banksy's work so much, in my mind, he deals in image subversion, causing us to re-engage.

one of my favourite proverbs, in classic stark proverb style says:

"Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
and neither are the eyes of man." (proverbs 27:20)

kind of random but I often think about this proverb.

1 comment:

  1. You made me ponder, made me think. I mmmm'd in agreement. thanks for sharing your white walls of thought, your colour of questions.

    I've recently found a great deal of solace in images. words haven't offered me anything but I've felt like I've found my voice through taking photos. Taking photos for no-one but yourself, to re-empower your vision of your world. Re-engagement, as you've mentioned above.
    Self broadcasting does change this however, it's the images we keep private that I'm finding really fascinating...
    Can't wait to see the world through your eyes.


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