Monday, August 13, 2007

Simplicity and humility in photography

(Photo by David D, click to see flickr page)

I recently found the book Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values by Robert Adams. The title alone was enough to pique my interest, but I've heard it recommended somewhere, anyway, I just started reading it, and I highly recommend it.

"To remind ourselves of the significance of grace in photography-of the importance of seeming to do the job easily- we need only to examine a copy of a mass circulation photography magazine. Most of the pictures suggest embarrassing strain; odd angles, extreme lenses, and eccentric darkroom techniques reveal a struggle to substitute shock and technology for sight. How many photographers of importance, after all, have relied on long telephoto lenses? Instead their work is usually marked by an economy of means, an apparently everyday sort of relationship with their subject."

My friend David's photo above is a good example of the 'economy of means' Adams speaks of in this passage.

On the same subject is an essay by the late Ingmar Bergman's Cinematographer Sven Nykvist, excerpts are read in the latest Image Method Podcast. He was a strikingly humble man, though his work is outstanding. This is refreshing to see in the century of the self-deified artist.

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Blogger David said...

Thanks for including my picture in your post. It was really encouraging.

The quotes on simplicity were really helpful, considering how much time I spend dreaming of getting a DSLR and lenses, and then get caught up in the tech and forget to teach myself the art I want the equipment for. It's not that good/fancy equipment can't enhance results, it just can't create them.

8/14/2007 7:58 PM  

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