This post almost did not happen – Up until now, when I have started to think about my bi-weekly post, I have had a photo in my mind. TRAGEDY! no photo, no post. Can you believe it, the blog’s 3 weeks old and I have already run out of ideas.
Well this post modern photographer will not be beat! Yes you read right, post modern photographer. Let me explain. In a previous life I worked in the area of mental health and my practice was strongly influenced by post modern therapy of which one explanation is here. Too heavy for a photo blog? Mmm, maybe, but hang in there.
This line from the Wikipedia definition on postmodernism now nicely sums up my approach to photography –
“Postmodernism is based on the position that reality is not mirrored in human understanding of it, but is rather constructed as the mind tries to understand its own personal reality. Postmodernism is therefore skeptical of explanations that claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person.”
Classic! – so let me explain how this understanding relates to this post and my photography now.
First of all, don’t take the above too literally – for me, it’s saying nothing is fixed, so while some may feel threatened, I find it hugely liberating.
Secondly, I am of an age that my first and most formative experience of photography was via film photography. I have only had a digital SLR for 9 months and Photoshop for 3. In the days of film, photos were planned more and you especially aimed to ‘see’ the photo before you took it (film was expensive). That meant knowing your equipment, knowing your film and knowing how to best capture subjects using a mix of theory and experience.
The same is true today and I am slowly learning about digital image capture, but I keep having these blocks about how to express myself in this new way. The latest block is feeling comfortable with getting into the raw images and really bringing the best out of them in Photoshop (no it’s not cheating, I am starting to appreciate, it IS art, if used properly).
As you may have noticed from my last post, I am getting rather adventurous now and this shows in these two photos. I took them when I first got my Digital SLR but at the time dismissed them. Having a look and play with them using my, still limited, new-found Photoshop skills and confidence, I think each has turned out OK.
So while I don’t think this journey will take me to making postmodern photographs as such, I do think it is slowly taking me to ‘seeing’ a photo again like Prof. Des Crawley describes in his article Seeing the Photo, and perhaps even being more creative than before. Des’s top ten tips to photo creativity may also be interesting to some and can be found here.