Monday, November 15, 2010

The expression of feelings

We all strive for perfection in our photography. We are looking for the best camera our money can buy, fast & sharp lenses, post-processing software, etc., in an effort to create the “perfect” image and we tend to forget that imperfection has its own beauty. I can’t remember who said it, but the problem with digital photography is perfection. Stock agencies are full with what I call “plastic” images; images that have no flaws. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not against stock images (they are products of great imagination, high knowledge and expertise), but most of them lack soul. The only “problem” is that they don’t have any problem, they are just perfect and impress the viewer’s eyes. 
Stand back a little bit and try to bring in mind an old photograph you have seen. An old, maybe B&W photograph, with a lot of grain, low dynamic range and soft focus. Can you describe your feelings? It’s not perfect at all, but it has uniqueness. It speaks to your soul because it moves beyond the boundaries of technicalities and freely focuses on the message it wants to communicate. It’s all about that message; nothing more, nothing less.
The above image was taken with a “lensbaby control freak”. It’s a cheap manual tilt-and-shift kind of lens. It looks and feels like a toy. It’s image quality has nothing to do with my expensive Nikkor 2.8 lenses and the results you get are inconsistent. It’s been a while since the last time I photographed something with enthusiasm. I got tired with sharp lenses, fast autofocus systems, advance metering, photoshop, etc. There are times when I want to express my inner, to put just a 50mm lens on my camera, to meter and focus manually, to see the word with different eyes; my eyes. Dreams aren’t sharp; they don’t even have a distinct subject. Photography is like poetry; it’s about exclusion, it’s about creating your own words, it’s about the expression of feelings. Why do we tend to forget this, I don’t know …  

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