One of my favourite things to do is watch people. I like to observe them, inspect and sometimes, on the rare occasion, even listen to them (that said in a very tongue and cheek manner). One of the things I like to get is opinions; we are always entitled to them and I am always interested in getting other views on things.
What I find most interesting is people’s opinions on photography. What is photography? We all have opinions on what makes a good photograph and what makes a bad one. Some think if the subject is not dead centre, that is a no-no, others believe in the infamous “Rule of Thirds”, others like bold colours, some like no colour, the criteria is endless. The trends also seem to change quite frequently and with that the criteria does too.
So this is my opinion. It is subjective. It is someone’s art form and there is something out there for everyone. I don’t think anyone should put anyone else’s work down (unless asked for an opinion, and in that case honesty works best). It is an expression of how they see the world, it is an interpretation and for many, it is a memory, it is something that someone can look back at after years and it can spark emotion, a smile, a tear or just a warm feeling. We should encourage those with talent to see where it can go. Criticism is awesome if constructive and for me, tips are always welcome. I look up to some photographers and when I look at their photographs, I just want to go out there and see how I can improve on my own style.
I am also of the opinion that you can make pictures out of anything. I believe the rules are there to be broken. I like headless people, images of limbs and shadows and I like a good sun flair. I want the image to start creating a story in the viewer’s head about what it is; who is in the image, why does it look like that? I like it off centre, and sometimes I like colour and sometimes I don’t, it all depends on how I feel while taking the photograph and, of course, how I feel during processing.
One of the reasons I won’t join any photographic club is because I don’t want to have people critique my work without understanding the background and I don’t want to be restricted to a theme. With that said, I do see the benefits for those wanting to achieve technical perfection and for those who want to learn from others who share the same photographic passion. For me personally, it would serve no purpose. My portfolio is not made up of technical masterpieces, but rather images that, when I look at them, cause a rumble in my soul (or in my stomach because a lot of it is food).
My wish is for those who have a passion to pursue it, to go out there and make the most of it and have fun while doing it. There will always be those that don’t like your work and then there will be those that do. If there are those who like to critique, make sure the criticism is constructive. Offer alternatives and ideas.
Till next time, happy snapping.