Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
It’s been great having my daughter Andei back home after 9 months of her living in Sicily. I’m really enjoying (and sharing in) her passion and enthusiasm for photography. She’s been picking my brain for more information (and instruction) on camera mechanics, shutter speed / aperture relationships, composition and asking me to critique her work. Sure, I’ve been teaching photography for 25 + years, but being able to share in a mutual love for photography with my daughter is truly something special.
I’m impressed by how her personal style as an image maker is developing at such a young age. Sure I am bias so I will let her images speak for themselves. I haven’t worked with film for about 6 years and critiquing Andei’s Holga and film pictures is getting me thinking about starting to shoot film again. There is something film is able to capture that digital can’t as far as the texture and depth of an image – just my opinion here but looking at here film photographs has made me think about the aesthetic differences between film and digital photographs.
The one thing that I am starting to see reflected in her recent Holga pictures (and photos in general) is a unique personal style emerging. As I told Andei during one of our critiques, there are many layers to photography and the goal of any serious and committed photographer is to be aware of these levels and learn to incorporate them into your work. The first step is understanding HOW the camera works.
Then we have to understand composition which is the next step in making strong photographs. From there you want to dig deeper into exploring / investigating a more conceptual and symbolic realm with the subjects you choose to photograph and then….only then does a unique “personal style” or vision emerge in a body of work. Great photographers MUST be “in the moment” MUST be hypersensitive to the world around them and be able to translate that vision into creative photographs that connect with the viewer on multiple levels AND say something about the photographer him or herself. We all have to keep learning, growing and exploring with the camera. Remember what the great Edward Weston would say when he critique a photographer. If he liked a picture he would say “good seeing” I think that says it all.
Photography is much like any other art form. You have to practice your craft and spend serious time developing and nurturing a unique and personal photographic (artistic) style and direction.