Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Use The Force

In "Star Wars", Luke is urged to use the Force, to reach out with his feelings, and this is surprisingly good advice not just for saving the forces of good from Ultimate Evil, but also for doing photography.

Consider this. Quite a lot of pictures are taken by people who are wandering around looking for pictures to take. They're looking for things that look a bit like other pictures they've seen, or they're looking for interesting people. Or strong diagonals. Or a good figure to ground relationship. Or something. The point is they're looking for pictures. I had in mind a social experiment, which I am much too lazy and busy to carry out ultimately, which involved aping this behavior. Here are some pictures:

These pictures are all bullshit. If Ming Thein or Eric Kim or any number of other Internet-Famous people posted them, they'd get some accolades. Posted on some internet forums they'd probably do pretty well. But they are bullshit. Boring, sterile, nothing pictures. About nothing. Of nothing. Saying nothing.

These are pictures made for other photographers.

This is the sort of crap you come up with when you're looking for pictures.

Go look for something that makes you feel, react, or think. Then photograph your emotion, your reaction, your thoughts.

Like this:

These are a finicky studio shot, a grab shot on the street, and something between the two. All are about my reaction to something, my desire to express something. The essential eroticism of flowers, the intensity of youth, and the dreamlike semi-erotic madness than is Edsel. The elements of composition, the photograph-ness of them, is secondary.

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