Monday, December 20, 2010

33. behind the lens

.. of being a photographer.

Now, I write more often than I post photographs, considering I am a photographer. The reasons being is I don't often have pictures that say what I want to say. Photography is a lot more complicated than simply snapping a picture. The thought process behind composing a photograph is what separates a photographer from a person with a camera. There are a bazillion genres of photography, not to mention styles. It is easy to capture 'pretty pictures', trust me - all you need is light, a good model and clothing. These pretty pictures are pictures we all want to look at, it is easy and pleasant to the eye but it is also forgettable. In our environment, there is so many photographic material we glance at, consciously and subconsciously. We live in a media world. With words, comes pictures.

I've been put in a situation where I had to create an image that speaks of love, happiness and joy when there was absolutely none of that to photograph. You succumb to playing a few card tricks to get that, because it is what the client asked for. They did not ask for the truth.

It always surprises me that people don't question a photograph. We assume it speaks truth, of course, now we are more aware of it because programs like Adobe Photoshop exists. However, back in the day of film, photographers do manipulate their images - we just didn't realized because it's a secret process in the darkroom, accessed to only the photographer and perhaps his assistant.

My aim in photography is to be as true as I can be. This has always posed a challenge for me because what I photograph now, as it stands before me is real, it's the truth. But, I know it will change. The moment I'm capturing in front of me is fleeting. As I take the time to watch my subjects, I decide when to push the shutter. It is this thought and decision that creates a photograph, a photograph that subjects my viewers to a certain view point.

As a future (and hopeful) documentary photographer, I can't help but input my knowledge into my photographs. I can't help but capture what I feel from my subjects. We all do this on a subconscious level. Being a photographer, you have to realize this and use it to your opportunity. It's all based on instincts. It is your instincts that lets you know when to step back and not photograph but rather immerse yourself in it. A camera can sometimes be an obstruction. You must know the people you're photographing, and gain their trust. It is this trust and bond they have with you that makes a photograph, more than a snapshot.


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