Evolving my photography
I’ve been thinking about this topic for quite a while, but never got around to writing anything down. Maybe if I write things down, I’ll be able to think about it more coherently, so please excuse the drivel I’m about to spew. It may or may not make much sense, but it will probably help me out at the least.
Looking at my past photographs, I used to be all about taking photos of food and crafts with the occasional cat photo throw in. Artistically speaking, I felt like my early photos didn’t have much of a coherent aesthetic, other than being bright and sharp. I just wanted something bright and clear and beautiful to look at. I suppose in a way that that counts as an aesthetic, just not one that I have right now.
I can see my photos change over the years. I’ve moved away from this bright, sharp look to something that’s more muted and (dare I say it) a bit delicate. I wanted to capture a moment in time, a feeling, an emotion I felt. I think this is when I started to feel really frustrated with my photography. I just didn’t have the technical know-how, the artistic eye, to capture and express myself the way I wanted.
I had an image in my head, but I had no idea how to capture it. Photography became more than just recording what was happening. It became a way to express myself, a way for me to figure out what was happening in my life. I started taking more photos, composing more carefully, and really trying to understand what my personal aesthetic was trying to become.
This is when photography became something important, something crucial to me.
Photography is a selfish art. I feel like I “take” images, points in time, and keep them frozen forever. Never again will that particular scene be exactly the same. The sun will have moved, the people will have shifted, even the air will change in a breeze. By taking photos, I can have a piece of time all to myself, forever. I have my own personal view of what happened, recorded by the camera, controlled by my eye. It’s selfish of me to try to capture time, but I suppose that I could also see it as a way to capture the past as well, to see a record of my own life.
Sometimes, I think I know where I’m going with my photography, but then I end up going in a completely different direction. For a while, I was really into doing photos that felt like “memories” with that soft hazy look to them, but lately, I’ve been shooting at f/8 and smaller to get sharpness all over the photo instead of the soft look. I’ve also lately decided to stop doing so much street photography and go back to finding beauty in nature and broken objects. I feel much calmer when I photograph objects and general scenes, instead of doing street photography; street feels really guerilla at times, and lately I feel like I want to take more time composing and thinking about my shots.
A photographer friend was looking through my Flickr and said that even though my photos have a lot of different subject matter, he did notice that I always have great lines in my photos, an uncanny way of making dramatic lines stand out. They give my photos some kind of dynamic, or even a quiet stillness when needed. I never really thought about, because I usually think about my photos in terms of topic and subject matter, but I suppose he’s right. I do try to have strong lines and form in my photos, and it’s what usually attracts me to a subject in the first place.
I’m probably rambling at this point, so this is where I should come to a close. It almost doesn’t matter where my photography goes next. All I know is that it’s going to stay with me. I might change subjects, but I’ll probably keep the same general aesthetic. Ah, the possibilities.