Making Pictures

This was not originally written to appear in this blog. However, I realize that my thoughts about photography are taking a turn that would appear less intelligible without this short description. I thus translated it to appear here. The original text is also available.

Speaking of ‘an eye for photography’ I understand that the photographer sees the world as a reservoir of potential pictures and that he will do everything he can in order to make the best of this potential.

Maybe he will find a picture remembering Andreas Feininger once said that everything worth being photographed is worth being photographed a couple of times. Such repeated scrutiny of a subject may take place at very different times of the day, or the year. It so allows for numerous variations of a theme.

Once you start producing variations your perspective may widen, from a particular lake to water in general, from this one flower to constellations of flowers and leaves (and finally to plants ‘as such’).

Meanwhile, it is interesting to observe how the picture changes when you omit colour. This omission does not produce a lack, but rather emphasizes the structures of the subject which will now appear more clearly. Black-and-white also seems to imply a relation to the graphic arts (such as etchings or woodcuts).

You may try to push abstraction still further. In doing so, you might not aim at the kind of clarity you seek when involved with documentation, being satisfied only when you present yet more aspects and more details – but rather at a greater clarity that allows the picture to stand for itself, independently of whatever it might depict.

10 thoughts on “Making Pictures”

  1. Your lines are so true and interesting, because the conclusion is that photography is an art. Digital photography has many advantages but the flip side of the coin is that many think of it as some sort of science which means that it is all about technical perfection and not what a photo expresses or conveys. The picture in this blog post is so simple, yet so difficult and expressive.

    This does not mean, however, that I think we should not know the basic rules of photography. If we study them and learn them properly, then we also know how to take good photos by breaking the rules the right way.

    1. Hi Staffan, thank you for your lines. I fully agree as long as we do not get overly occupied with the rules. Sometimes sticking to the rules (of composition) just does not feel right for me.

  2. I agree that omitting or limiting colour certainly does force one to concentrate on the graphic nature of an image. Although they are all very strong images, I am especially attracted to the second one in the series. Compositionally it is very appealing.

    1. Thank you for visiting and sharing your opinion! I am particularly glad the “Snow Trees” seem to work…

  3. Ty for visiting my blog – and I am glad to be able to visit your work as a result – I like the negative space ratio in the photograph above. And I like your words on making pictures.

    1. Julian, thank you for visiting, looking around, and commenting. This is encouraging.

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