The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

On the ability to see

At the beginning of the year, I offered myself a new camera to move beyond the limitations of the smartphone camera.

Little did I know!

In my youth, I had a camera I loved to use, but then digitalization came, and that camera sat still on some shelf. My first digital camera died and since the smartphone had taken over.

Some of what I had believed to be limitations of the smartphone became elements of the new brave world of photography. The more calculation power available, the more it is being used to provide additional choices but also to adapt the light and colors in the pictures accordingly.

What had seemed to be a flaw became a feature.

The other astonishment came when I set out to make pictures on purpose. Until then I had trained myself to take a break somewhere and benefit from whatever was in front of my smartphone to make a picture.

Naturally, I still can do that but starting out with the new camera I realized that I’ve yet to learn to see what it is that makes a good picture. That is, to make a picture I composed and saw before I made it.

When I take the camera out, the picture will suddenly be much less of what I’m seeing in reality. I’ve got to choose the frame that will be interesting. I’ve got to sense the atmosphere and how the people engage in what they do, and need to find a way to make this visible in a picture.

I’ve got to decide what that picture will stand for.

It’s connecting what I see with what exists.

It’s finding a match between the visible and the unconscious. That is looking inside as well as outside when making the picture.

I’ve yet to discover the postprocessing part of making a picture. It’s another step in the evolution of seeing.

Whatever method or tool is available to us. It’s never complete in creating a result. There is always a context in which it is being applied and someone who learns to use the method or tool and changes with it.



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