Monday, April 8, 2013

Style, abstraction, geometry, light and shadow as subject

To be interesting to a wider audience, a photograph probably needs to say something about our world, or about the human experience, or our relationship to other animals, or about how our minds work. That is, there should be a connection to the viewer, which can take various forms.

The style of a work of art (however humble an attempt) can be difficult to describe or pin down. People become familiar with various styles depending upon where they live, whether and where they travel, how they spend their time. The familiar is comfortable, and lends itself to an easy connection between artist and viewer.

An unfamiliar style, if not so radical as to keep a person from really looking, can be an attractant and can add power to an image. Most of us are unlikely to develop a style so recognizably individual and so different from any predecessor that we could be said to have created something new. I certainly don't have that level of visual imagination.

Nonetheless, I think it is good to try to develop something that could be called style in my own work. I'm rather a generalist photographer; that is, I'm interested in a wide variety of subject matter. I enjoy doing portraits, covering events, creating landscapes, playing with architecture, shooting nature and wildlife, exploring the world of very small things, and more. Through it all, there may be one feature that supports all of my photos, at least the ones that I value the most. That is a pleasure in geometry, both the actual two dimensional shapes that appear in an image and the implied three dimensional structure. In the case of some action photos, the fourth dimension of time is also very much in evidence (to me), even though the picture doesn't actually move.

The solid shapes are made plain through light and shadow. Sometimes the play of light almost becomes the subject of the photo. Here is an example of that. I'm not sure how I would describe the style of this one, but I think it is a good representation of one way that I see the world. I hope that it says something to you, the viewer, no matter what that might be.

Maybe an abstraction of mystery and wonder, hunting for hidden causes? I think I'll dedicate it to James Clerk Maxwell!


No comments:

Post a Comment

You may comment anonymously if you wish. Comments are moderated. Spam will be blocked or removed.