By definition it has no universally agreed meaning or definition: rather, it refers to an imprecise category of photographs, created in accordance with the creative vision of the camera person. Also known as “photographic art” or”artistic photography“, it is a form of creativity that ignites the fire within my belly!
“Some pioneering photographers recognised straight away, that photographs, like paintings, are artificially constructed portrayals: they too had to be carefully composed, lit and produced. Julia Margaret Cameron made this explicit in her re-envisagings of renaissance pictures. Her Light and Love of 1865, for example, shows a woman in a Marian headcovering bending over her infant who is sleeping on a bed of straw. It is part of a line of nativity scenes that is as long as Christian art, and was hailed by one critic as the photographic equivalent of “the method of drawing employed by the great Italian masters”. I Wait, 1872, shows a child with angel’s wings resting its chin on folded arms and wearing the bored expression that brings to mind the underwhelmed cherubs in Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. Such photographs were not direct quotations from paintings, but they raised in the viewer’s mind a string of associations that gave photography a historical hinterland.”
My Grandchild by Julia Margaret Cameron. Photograph: Hulton/Getty
I personally love taking photographs because it allows me the possibility to connect to someone, an opportunity to understand them better and to love the human condition a little deeper.
I’ve had a camera in my hands for more than 20 years now, and over that time I’ve noticed a huge shift in the way in which I express my creativity. In days gone by I use to shoot a lot, and my stack of hard drives filing up desk are testament to my carefree rapid fire. These days I tend to be a little more purposeful in my style, placing a lot more importance on ‘making pictures’ rather than simply ‘shooting photos’. I say ‘making’ because I am always working on finding the light and depth of an image, composing and framing, snapping the shutter with intent in order to represent my subjects and their beauty in the best possible way.
I personally love the mantra ‘Life is learning and learning is life’ and as long as I’m alive I know that photography will always be a way to connect not only with others but also with myself.
Would love to hear from you and find out what stirs your imagination.
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