Photography is what I consider as a life experience, journey, documentation. It records our memory of a certain moment, can be a fun, sad, bizarre, moved, scary, romantic, beautiful, shocking…we do not attempt to create, stage, make something out of nothing in front of our eyes. However, there’s an expression in photos we wish to express in the moment when we capture. It can be the mood, setting, subject, interaction,…The way we position our camera, the objects & subjects to include in frame, the perspective we attempt to do, the timing, the lighting, exposure, shutter speed are all in our hands controlling. That’s where I found individuality and creativity in photography.
From a political TV program, I learned from a comic creator of Hong Kong who credit for the creation of ‘Tian Tian Xiang Shang – Every day look up’. He pointed out that tutors and schools must have an active role in stimulating students’ creativity by unleashing students curiosity. Our education system and syllabus are the cage, students must jump out of the cage and think outside of it ‘once they have learned the basic’. The basic is the foundation to build upon, nothing can be done without it.
Also the program spoke about – Creativity. The host stressed on ‘There won’t be creativity if we’ve not received a proper national/social education in school. I think that implies to, if we have not studied about the background/history in photography. We won’t be able to appreciate others work or even understand our own photography very well. While I think it’s not as serious as it sounds, I believe he has his point.
In a broader sense, photography is presented usually not on its own these days. It’s a combination of mixed media – essays, history understanding, social status, current affairs, and more. Yes, it may take a gifted or experience person to make a meaningful photograph. And a good one worth a thousand words? yeah? Back in the days, yes; Nowadays, the demand is much higher. There’s either more than only one photo and put an end to it or an essay that describes on such and such. To be able to write a powerful essay to go with the photos is an art (Some pros let the curator, editor do the job). It really requires knowledge, studies, interpretation and of course writing techniques to master it. Knowledge is what gives context on a photo that taken, how much can we relate the subject in a broader sense, how do we feel about the captured situation (right or wrong).
After understand the meaning that the TV host wanted to convey, I think there’s just more than a photograph and camera in photography. The internet has also changed how the photographers present their work. Photo books and exhibitions are no longer the only medium to communicate between the photographers and viewers. I personally found that following blog updates from photographers is a much better way to understand their photography. It’s more continuous, fluid and intimate.
It takes a normal person to snap a photo and call it a nice one. I think something deeper ‘the re-interpretation of a scene’ is what define a good or normal photographer. Especially in a crowded, complicated scene, how do we assess all the elements quickly then break it down to make it a well-composed and yet profound image. That’s an art, dedication, patience.
Originality goes hand in hand with creativity in photography. Whoever owns a smartphone is a photographer. What defines your photography? how do you distinguish yours from others?
Everyone technically owns the same tool, walks the same path. It’s a matter of how you make use of it. It’s our experience, our vision that makes it meaningful. The words to an essay that dresses up the whole theme.
I think as simple as a smartphone, is suffice to create photos we wanted. With a few swipes, I get to snap all the things that interest me wherever i go. It’s a great way to cultivate creativity with less buttons and settings.
Today is the New Year Day in Chinese calendar. Happy new year to everyone!~ Hope you all have another fantastic year in every way.