Selfie, probably nude (but try not to think about that, especially if you’re just about to eat), in a hotel room, 28 Apr 2014
Here are some things that I regard as core to the ways in which I perform and think about photography. From the outset let’s be very clear: these are my mantras, beliefs, philosophies, ways of working, call them what you will – this is ME, but – and more on this below – it may not be YOU … (clicking onto the images will (mostly!) open larger versions in separate windows)
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT
To me, the first thing to realise is that we are all different, that we are all individuals, each with his/her likes/dislikes about anything that you care to name – clothes, sausages, cars, furniture, colours, TV programmes, sports, books, etc etc. I think I realised this before, but seven years of running this blog and talking with all sorts of people have really hammered this home to me.
And, this being the case, it should come as no surprise that we have widely varying visual tastes – so, I hate an image but you love it: nobody is right or wrong here, we are simply different, we are individuals – and that makes for a very interesting (if often turbulent) world.
Wet flatlands on the Somerset Levels
In my view, photography is an art, albeit one that powerfully combines science and technology with the disciplines more usually associated with the arts. Like all other arts, it is purely subjective and individual. Hence all photographic “rules” go out the window unless they fit in with – or more correctly, add to – what I’m doing. And, in my view, the same applies to all photographic competitions and qualifications (eg RPS), they go out the window too, since judges may well have subjective views that differ from your’s, mine, Great Aunt Maud’s, etc. So, I don’t enter competitions, I just do my own thing – absolutely revelling in the vast creative opportunities and potential that (for me, digital) photography brings.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FINAL IMAGE
To me, all that matters in photography is the final image, completely irrespective of how it was captured (camera, pinhole, phone, anything). And completely irrespective of how much or little it has been subsequently processed. The resulting image is in the here and now, it is what we are looking at, it is all that matters.
Others hold different views. For example, never cropping, only using film or digital, only using black and white, never doing any post-capture processing etc etc. All of these ways forward, and all others, are valid. What is certainly not valid is the opinion that, unless we use certain photographic equipment or techniques, we am not practising photography “properly” and that, in some way, our images are invalid, inferior or unworthy of consideration for that reason.
Another real no-no here, in my view, is to try to pass off something that has been highly processed post-capture as something that is straight out of the camera at point of capture. That is plain dishonesty.
Going to work, on the early morning bus
CONTENT AND EMOTION COME FIRST
Finally, for me, technicalities, and especially technical perfection, always come some way second to the content of an image – the subject matter, emotions, atmosphere, narrative, and so on. And that rather than looking for perfect overall sharpness, I definitely think that blurred detail can be of value in many images.
Which leads on to the point that its always worth trying to take a photo, no matter how poor the light and other conditions (although I do draw the line at getting my cameras soaked in the rain). In particular here, I always use high ISOs where light conditions require it. The basic tenet, for me, is that its always better to have an imperfect image, rather than no image at all.
So, for better or for worse, this is me. What do you think? Do you agree??? Views?????????