Thursday, March 7, 2013

Creative Photography

Creative Photography.


To understand photography, we should travel a couple of 1000 years back... 
Fig1. Cave Paintings from 30,000 BC
I think a good place to start will be somewhere in 30,000 BC.

All you fans of Flintstones, don't get all worked up thinking if they carved a pin hole camera out of a stone and used burning dry hay as a Flash(light)... 

The images which were recorded in that era were something like the ones in Fig 1.

We have to give our first photographers, the benefit of doubt, that they did not have a DSLR camera or did not have developed motor cortex to paint like our handsome 20th century greatest who we call Pablo Picasso (Fig 2)

They did not have canvas, or high sensitive sensors, to capture images whilst they were hunting. They had to make do with walls and colours of dirt to scribble on the wall while their wives barbecued a wild boar...
Fig 2: Pablo Picaso

The big question is why did they even bother to paint on the wall...

Here is why? we all humans just cannot shut up and sit in one place...

We have to talk, we have to express, we have to communicate and tell the world about your experiences...

FACT of life: Millions survive plague, hunger, death... or without love, clothing, shelter, but none of em choose to remain in silence...

We just have to speak... we have to tell everyone our experience, and more importantly what we felt in that moment... The keyword here is 'felt'...

Photography in its true essence is about feeling...

Look at the Fig 1, and you will really sense the feeling of what that caveman went through 30,000 + 2013 years ago...

Yes he did not have a DSLR then, and even if he wanted to buy one, he might have to spend a couple a million pebbles which are found only on the top of the Mount Everest...

Fig 3. Guernica
But no he said, I don't need a Hasselbald camera today, because it will be invented only in 1800 AD... let me work with what i have, straw and dirt paint... and what do we have... a hand made image telling us that even in those days bulls were revered as creatures of power and importance...

Now we know cave man did not need a camera, neither did the 20th century Picasso... but they used their skills and little tools to capture the imagination of people for years to come... 

Now compare the images of the caveman with one of the famous images of Picasso. (fig.3)

Hence I say that, whatever you want to call it, painting, music, story books, history books (yuck!!!), images, sculptors, photographs, movies or a coke advertisement, it is all about expressing and more importantly replicating a feeling in the minds of the viewers...

How many a times, have you seen an image shot out of an expensive camera, and even after looking at it for hours munching popcorn, you still could not connect with the image and a voice kept resonating in your mind that something is amiss... the image is sharp, it follows the rule of 3rd and exposed very well, but you just don't like it...

Fig 4: 1989 Tiananmen Square protest by Jeff Widener
On the other hand, horribly composed, blurred image and with good for nothing levels of exposure images have changed the way of life... and caused people in masses to react and respond to the image.

This is the difference between a photograph and a great photograph... 

Creative photography is all about re- creating a feeling in the minds of the viewer...


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