Lately, I’ve been toying with an idea for a photographic project. There are two reasons for this – one is resistance and the other is personal. First, the easy part – resistance. It seems that with the advent of the photography forum sharpness and camera specification have become the goal. Can your camera take perfect pictures? Speaking personally, perfection bores me. In the past, when comparing newer cameras to my workhorse Ricoh GXR 50mm A12 (sadly, unused in recent months) I always preferred the “texture” of the Ricoh. Texture usually meant somewhat grainy B&W pictures, but there was more to it than that, an intangible aspect that I cannot describe. I am simply not interested in the picture perfect; that is not my interest in photography. And over time that has driven me away from the photography forums and instead far more often to Flickr or other art sites, where it’s much easier to find people interested more in the art than the science.
The personal is more complicated. As you probably know, I have been searching for my own photographic vision, and that has evolved over time. I have long been interested in looking closely at the natural world – plants, trees, twigs, leaves, dirt, creatures, various flora and fauna.I’ve taken macro pictures that allow me to see what’s going on at the macro level, things unseen unless you look closely. A still photograph allows you to explore and discover a single instant in time. But for this new project I have a new view on this. It involves taking a “standard” picture and then creating a second picture from a small crop of the original picture. This both shows you the scene and shows you a zoomed-in “macro” view of it. Naturally, the zoomed-in view will be less perfect than the full picture. But sharpness and perfection are not the point. The point is to see what you may not originally see… patterns, textures, new discoveries. I’m still conceptualizing how I want to do this and how I want to show them, but hopefully I can make something of it.
And the point about “you?” Well, it’s very simple… hold out for your own view on things. Be original. Stay true to what you see and show that to us. Don’t show us what we’ve already seen. Show us your own unique vision on the world so that we can learn from your experience. There is nothing more that we each can bring to the universe than our own creativity and originality.
Filed under: Berkeley, Cameras, Commentary, Thinking About Photography, This Is What I Saw, Tilden Park |