I look at photography as a means of expressing the world as I see it. I like to see an image in my mind and know that I know how to capture it in camera. Or at least know that I can and that the challenge is to figure out how to do so. I think that a photograph is just a moment in time, frozen for others to hold it and view it at their own pace.
Photography is like model building, slow motion video, and maps. It allows people to view the world in a way that they can’t in real life. To be able to pick up a model of a cell or the space shuttle is something that we can’t do normally. To watch a balloon burst in slow motion and see the latex tear while holding it’s shape can’t be done with the naked eye. And to be able to see the relationship between the location of your home and place of work with all of the different streets, parks, and other landmarks nearby isn’t something you can do while walking down the street.
Photography is the same thing. It freezes that moment in time and allows you to hold it in your hand, allowing you to take the time to fully examine it at your leisure. It freezes a waterfall to the point that you can study the individual drops of water or take that same waterfall and allow you to see how the water the flows in a silky blur.
A photograph can make you laugh. It can make you cry. It can make you hate. Or it can make you care about something you didn’t know about. People say that video is the future. I don’t think so. You can’t hold a video, you can’t put it on the wall and make it part of your life. You can only do that with a photograph.
A painting or drawing brings into play the “interpretation” of the artist. Something can be added or taken out of the scene. Or the scene can me completely made up. Ok, you can change a photograph in Photoshop or manipulate it in some other way, but the bottom line is that it captures what is in front of the camera at that time.
I am not trying to take anything away from video or any other form of art, but to me photography is truth. It shows the world. The world at that one moment in time.
That is why I don’t like over manipulating an image. Yes, I sometimes remove a post or a piece of trash and that probably makes me seem like a hypocrite. I didn’t say that I objected to the artist’s manipulation, but I think it should be overwhelmingly truthful in it’s presentation of the scene. Not to the point of journalism, which MUST, by nature of honesty in reporting, not have any photomanipulation in them at all. But I try to capture what I see when I press the shutter button.
When I see the scene, I don’t see the trash or the pole, thus I can take them out of the final image without feeling like I have betrayed the purpose of taking the photo in the first place.
This is not a judgment on other people’s works, but an explanation as to what I like to see in my work and what I look for in other images. I know art and every other creative process is subjectively different to every individual, but art is supposed to make you think and even be controversial, therefore, those are my thoughts.