Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Being selfthaught photographers makes for both strength and vulnerability at the same time. Strength comes in the form of freedom. If you don't have any rules, often you're left free to explore, trying and faiingl, discovering new paths to walk down. Vulnerability comes in the form of not being really shure sometimes that the path you've chosen is the right one.
Of course, there's no harm in being confused when it comes to photography. After a number of trials one eventually arrives at the right place, but searching for guidance from experienced photographers is a way to be humble towards yourself and your creativity. If left totally alone, there's a big risk of your ego self taking over, weaving its usual web of illusion and hindering you from seeing. Of all the arts I've tried my hands on during this life, photography is the one where words more often overtake the role of actually creating.
There's the matter of equipment, compostion, digital processing, printing, showing and a thousand other major and minor issues. They are all equally important or unimportant depending on the moment and the photographer at any given time.
When stumped I read Ken Rockwell's writings on the subject. He writes equally on the art itself as well as no bullshit, hands on practical reviews on critical gear, free of overscientific mumbo jumbo. His way of seeing it is not neccesarily mine all the time, but the attidude is invigourating.
Be shure to visit www.kenrockwell.com. Even if you're not a hardcore photographer you will find bits and pieces useful for the creator of any art.
(photograph captured by Matti Sedholm in Gion, Kyoto, Japan 2005. It was my first photographic trip to japan, and I was using a compact camera that I had owned for a few months. I knew absolutely about how to make photographs, still some good ones came out of that camera.)