An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of art & life ...

An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of life ... or just ramblings from the mind of a working Mum with far too little time to think!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Power of Pictures

Photography is a purely visual medium. It is about communicating a story, a feeling, or an emotion, through pictures. It is about releasing the shutter at the precise moment when everything comes together and the communication works. Sometimes, it’s just pure luck, but mostly it is seeing something you wish to share and working out how to capture it.

Unlike painting or drawing where you create the work brushstroke by brushstroke, photography requires either the pre-visualisation of the image before it is composed and captured or the ability to recognise and capture that "moment of magic" when it appears.

So much can happen in an instant. Sometimes, an opportunity presents itself serendipitously to the photographer, and other times, when composing an image that has been visualised, another image appears and the final image captured is nothing like what was first imagined.

We take photographs to tell a story, whether it is to convey the innocence of a life not yet lived in a baby, or the absolute joy of being a curious young child, or the intricacies in design of the macroscopic inner world of nature, or the magnificent architecture of a cathedral or ancient building. There are so many stories to tell, so many pictures to take. "My camera is my tool. Through it I give a reason to everything around me", said acclaimed photographer, Andre Kertesz.

Photography is a visual language, understood by all people, in all cultures and in all parts of the world. It bridges the differences between us and connects us with each other. It serves to illuminate social injustice and it allows us to share in each others' lives, hopes, dreams and despair.

Pictures have the power to change our perceptions of the world and to stir our consciences. They are capable of capturing the voices and feelings of their subjects and have the capacity to generate the deepest of human emotions in the viewer. There are many single images that are able to tell the story of an entire event, giving us an almost instant understanding of that moment in time.

For me, photography has been a lesson in keeping my mind constantly open to light and colour and the way they interact and change the meaning of my images.  Seeing life through a lens has greatly improved my awareness of the world and has offered me a pathway of expression to share the many insights that I have discovered on my journey with a camera.

Through photography, the world is very definitely our oyster.

If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint ~ Edward Hopper

I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for ~ Georgia O'Keefe