After an introduction to master photographer Bernice Abbott's thoughts I touch on her work then dive into Eugene Atget's unbelievable gift for taking a scene beyond the document into the realm of poetry with his seamless undoctored approach.
As stated by John Szarkowski, "I think that Atget is the single most inexhaustibly interesting of all photographers so far. More interesting than Stieglitz or Weston or Cartier-Bresson; even more interesting than Walker Evans, who was his greatest student."
For additional insights:
The World of Atget by Bernice Abbott
I love images placed beside each other creating tension between them; an extension from one to the other expanding each others message or feeling. Creating new ones.
The images may not immediately be seen as related. When a creator does this it forces me to uncover the relationship. The relationship can be obvious extending each others meaning.
Words too, alongside a photograph(s) can also create powerful relationship.
This one has both, inspired upon hearing an old Big Bang Theory TV show. The line, "The ice caps are melting Leonard. In the future swimming isn’t going to be optional." The line tossed in among several humorous lines jumped out.
At first I had an abstract image of sun on water from 2 summers ago in mind. While looking it up I happened upon this sequence taken along a back road between Stratford and London. The relationship to oil and an ongoing concern regarding global warming felt more relevant than the playful abstraction.
Listen to how Yousef Karsh created the quintessential portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941.
Some may have heard of Ansel Adams and Pre-visualization? The idea is to have a clear idea of what your image will look like before you release the shutter. It's an extremely powerful way to create photographs.
My personal professional experience is when I have a vision of what I want to create before a session starts I not only create that vision but often build on it during the session to make even stronger photographs.
Karsh had a vision in advance of the portrait he wanted to create. The location and lighting were setup the night before. As Churchill approached Karsh new one thing for certain, he did not want a cigar in the photograph...
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Lovely hot Wednesday in August. Neither my wife nor I had clients to see. No projects due. Beach day! One of the joys of working for yourself is taking advantage of those moments cuz you’re likely going to be working all day Saturday or Sunday or… but that’s not why I’m here today.
On the drive home from the beach I was enjoying the view as the sunlight started to warm while starting to cast some longer shadows. The light was starting to evolve into that sweet light.
Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t really seeing it! Why not? I had my sunglasses on. Not only do they darken the scene, they typically alter the colour somewhat. My latest hold a slight blue cast. My last pair had a warm tone added to them. Romantic but not so good for photography.
I find it imperative to take the sunglasses off to really see the light no matter the time of day. They don’t have to stay off. They are good protection from harmful uv rays. If I’m considering a photo,...
What is creativity indeed. I started reading "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert this morning. Never read her work before. I did enjoy the film "Eat, Pray, Love". I heard an interview with her a few weeks ago. It inspired me to pick Big Magic up at the library yesterday.
I turned the opening pages while light spilled through the window. I had to pause and create something within this sweet little moment. (image above)
Ultimately, creativity is relationship. Ongoing.
Some days are better than others.
It's work. Good work.
An exploration of our world.
Learning about our world and ourselves. Ultimately, our relationship to it.
Sometimes the eyes remain wide. Often the mouth drops open in awe.
I'm launching The Photography Whisperer Method in August where I won't presume what your relationship to creativity is or should be. I will act as a guide encouraging your exploration offering tools that will help along the way.
As we head into the August long weekend, I wonder aloud what will captivate you enough to compel you to stop, to pause, to really look and carefully consider. It could be a child, a plant or tree, the swirl of a watery wave, a senior’s wise hand.
Try a different photographic approach. Before engaging your camera, wander around the moment. Look, LOOK to discover what truly captured your attention. Ponder what you have to say about this moment you’ve been given and how best to say it. Then with a quickening of the heart take your camera, whatever that looks like for you and carefully with intent squeeze the shutter…
Do you have a desire to communicate effectively with powerful photographs? Sign up to keep informed at https://www.photography-whisperer.com/
“That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” Walt Whitman
What will your verse be?
Why photograph? Why create?
We have passion, heart, and soul. Being human we have a need to express.
To shout, perhaps whisper.
What see you?
What say you?
Let’s begin using these picture makers, these recording devices to sing our song. Suggest a position. Make a comment.
Bare witness to you, your view.
I dare you!
Let’s stop simply recording, taking notes. Let’s begin speaking our truth one picture, one composition at a time.
What will your verse be?
What will it look like?
Do you wish your photographs expressed what you want to say effectively?
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