27: 22-Aug-2016

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How about a read?
I’ve been looking at a few interesting web sites of late as I explore composition themes and ideas. One of my go to photographers is Michael Freeman, who has published some great technical books over the years. More recently he has covered creativity with the Photographers Eye series (The Photographers Eye, The Photographers Mind, The Photographers Vision and the Photographers Story) – which I have almost all of on my bookshelf. The ideas he espouses were again reinforced when I attended Tony Hewitt’s SAPF talk on 14-Aug. Tony talked about composition, shooting from the heart, shooting for yourself, being different, saying what your eye would say (think about it), telling stories, why did we take that shot, and seeing the invisible in our images. Freeman raises much the same in this essay on his website. It is well worth a read. And don’t forget to visit Tony’s web site .I’ll try to put together an article about Tony’s talk when I get a few moments…….
A lot of this comes down to defining your own style too – and I found this article from Sal Cincotta (a US based photographer) that talks about just that. Once you’ve learned how to use your equipment (and you know it’s limitations too), then you need to move beyond the standard photo and develop something new.
You do need to think about keeping things simple, and that’s where ideas like minimalism come in. We had a competition about this last year which I think helped many of us. Here are a few more ideas in PhotoFocus to inspire you further.
And don’t forget to actually think about what you are shooting and why (which Tony Hewitt raised too) – this article in fStoppers talks about that rather well. The photos we craft after we’ve thought about them may be some of our best.
Finally, following on from the article about Namibia and the abandoned town, did you know that Henry Ford built a town that was abandoned? Fordlandia was the name, and it is a story that shows how even the mighty fall. This blog article is a good start to the story, as well as this post in a forum, and this blog. There are lots of links in these to Flickr pages and there is even a book.
It makes me wonder about how our ancestors will view our attempts to build towns that subsequently fail (noticed any industrial demise of several SA towns in the recent past and near future?). Maybe it is our task as photographers to document these places before they are lost. Think about it.

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