Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Don't be a victim of quotes and aphorisms

There are many great photographers out there with an awesome portfolio. They have their unique style and methods to archive this distinctive look and feel of their images. There are also a lot of books and interviews where you can read what is on their minds. That can be inspiring and fruitful, but you should take it as an opinion of someone who is in the lucky position that his kind of work is appreciated by others. This doesn't mean that this person is something like a guru or a saint and important for your artistic career.

Yesterday I stumbled upon a quote that says:
"when you photograph people in color - you photograph their clothes"
"when you photograph people in b&w - you photograph their soul" (Ted Grant)
Maybe you think that this quote from Mr. Grant is a rule or a law and you think good street photography should be like he mentioned in the quote above. But this is just Mr. Grants opinion and it works for him in his world view. You don't have to take this statement as a rule for taking better photographs. For me clothes can be a colorful and soulful part of the whole personality. I don't mean fashion victims who try to put brand names on their body to impress others. There are people out there in the streets who express their soul on the outside with a great sense of style and color as a part of their personality.

without color you won't notice sock & skull

more soulful in black and white?
(open source) photo taken by Eric Kim
I don't know why I should follow a quote, a rule or something someone else said on the web or in a book. There can be great things that help you improve your photographic skills by getting some inspiration or learn new techniques (and "dislearn things" like Eric Kim wrote recently in a great article), but don´t think that there are certain laws you must follow to be a good photographer. Try to be a child again and enjoy taking photos without thinking too much about it. Composition is great, but sometimes you need a break from all this rules to enjoy photography again and find a playground you feel familiar with. If you're heavily influenced by the words and thoughts of other photographers you can't develop your own style and thoughts.

It is good to have opinions and thoughts of other people, but don´t be a parrot and follow those people or rules like a dog. There are no strict rules in art. Just do what you love!



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