Perth, Western Australia

Monday, April 6, 2009

in the sky with diamonds.

Saturday the 4th of april was a day i will remember for a very long time.
It was a major turning point in the way i think about what i do, and how i do it.

Cooked some lamb and iced the esky.
Filled with fuel and picked up lucy. I had been mulling over the day for the last week.
It was pretty much all I could think about.
Was the location I had picked right for what I wanted? 
Was there somewhere closer that would suffice? 
Was it exactly how I had remembered it?
It was really doing my head in, and I started to really doubt myself.
The brief was self driven, but I wondered if it was edgy enough.
Too much of photography today, especially in perth, is mediocre.
We are all guilty, including my self. I want to be a standout and push some boundaries - this is not going to be easy to accomplish.
I’ve found myself wondering recently, as I always seem to, if what I’m doing is really what I want to be doing. If that makes any sense at all.
Fashion photography is fashion photography. Basically layers of makeup and textiles that go together to make a girl or boy look attractive/appealing.
There is only so much you can do with that in terms of photography. They are pretty emotionless images.
In my mind a camera is the wrong tool to capture this, well not the wrong tool, but a tool that is too good for it. They should be created with pens and paper, or on a computer.
A camera is the only tool that can capture a moment any where from 1/8000 of a second long and longer. It doesn’t lie about what its seen if in the right hands, and has great difficulty bending the truth. What Chuck Close likes to call 'Accidental Masterpieces'.

A portrait is a very hard thing to categorize when it comes to photography.
There are candid portraits, where the person being captured is almost totally unaware that they are being captured and therefore completely natural, or the posed portrait.
The latter being a representation of a person they have trained themselves to be like. That characteristic ‘camera smile’. That false smile so well rehearsed from such a young age.

Today I tried to create the portrait that lies in no-mans-land so to speak between these two. Most of you out there who have a grasp of contemporary photography will know what I mean. For those of you who don’t I will endeavour to explain.
This type of portrait has elements of both styles, but displays no characteristics of the other style. A paradox really. 
Its getting the talent to look aloof. The time spent waiting for them to stop smiling and look serious.
Putting in their hands something out of the ordinary, but making it look as if it is meant to be there. Finding a location you like, and matching their wardrobe to fit it.

another thing ive never really experienced is overthinking a concept.
So you know what is aesthetically appealing from a contempory standpoint, and you want to be edgy and stand out. The set up looks fantastic in your head, and you know exactly what your location looks like and how you want your model, what they will be wearing and their pose.
Once you get there and arrange all the elements exactly as you had imagined, and put your eye to the view finder something just doesn’t seem right. It should, because you have done everything you had to –but it just doesn’t. writers block for a photographer?
You’ve got a pen and some paper, and you know what your going to write about in a round about way but nothing comes out of your hand on to the paper. It’s an awful feeling.

hopefully you will enjoy it, 
seeing as its caused me so much turmoil and taught me so much.