March 26, 2009

Just some of late...

I've been studying about alot of photographers lately...perhaps one of the more influential photographers I've studied is james Nachtwey.

One thing that he said, has stuck with me...
"I have been a witness, and these pictures are
my testimony. The events I have recorded should
not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

As photojournal- no wait...visual journalists...we all bear witness to the events and happenings of the world, and life around us. it's actually kind of amazing to see the images, both incredible and scary, that great photographers like Nachtwey and Salgado and even young 'whipper-snappers' like myself make. Due to our individual consciousnesses, we are all gifted with our own unique perspective. Each and every person sees something differently, yet we all see the same thing. Five different photographers can shoot the same scene with the same lighting, but the way they shoot it, and the emotion and part of themself that they pour into the image makes it inherently their own.

of course i'm preaching to the choir.

but its something i feel none the less.

back to the original reason for this post.

In a recent discussion that i had with a colleague and friend, I began to analyze why people make pictures...what drives them. People say they're tired of images that people perceive as beautiful, and that they want to create images that stir up emotions. I humbly believe that all images...if done correctly...stir emotions.

I come from the school of thought that any 'effects' that are done to an image are done 'in-camera' Photoshop is not something that should be used to alter or 'bastardize' and image by manipulating the intended reality to create a new one. Of course, there are those who argue this point and say that it is art. It may just be. But that's their cup of tea, and not mines.

Photographers like Nachtwey, Salgaldo, Smith, Lange, Laforet, McNally, Lum, Miho, Aquino, Burley, Walker, Lee, Tomita, and more have had such a profound impact upon the way i think critically, or approach an image or an assignment. It's just not enough to document it.

The viewer of the image needs to live the moment.

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