Sunday, March 16, 2014

Photography, A truly democratic medium.

There are many opinions about what is good and what is bad photography.  This is an argument that I believe is almost impossible for anyone side to win.  Photography as a medium of expression is probably one of the truly democratic forms out there.  Through it individuals are able to express themselves however they want.  Now not everyone will agree with the images they view and whether they are good or bad, art or not.
Now I think we can safely agree that there are certain types of imagery that is offensive to a vast amount of the world population and some of it is illegal.  These photo's are where the freedom of rights and expression are not applicable.  So these types of images I take from the mix and push them a side.  What is left though is part of the greater subjectivity of the medium and thus the viewer of the photo's.
Photographers have pushed boundaries, expressed ideas and brought information to the world since it's start.  Editors, publishers and curators had great control over what was seen and distributed to the masses.  Thus they could control the agenda in any arena around the world.  This is no longer the case and with the internet and the proliferation of photographs by millions of people the lines have disappeared.  We share with the world and thus images are judged by more people then ever.
So what are the criteria in viewing such work and how and whom makes these choices.  We have the purists who believe that an image should be straight, as is and untouched after the pushing of the shutter.  At the other end we have those who use and combine multiple images through a variety of means to create works of imagination and wonder.  Each side will argue their merits and discount the other.
Having been a viewer of millions of photographs myself over the years (yes I spend many hours looking at photographs a day), I have found myself to be more open to all styles. I can appreciate the selfie as an expression for an individual, the beauty of nature and landscape, the wonderment of achievement of the journalistic genre and the imagination of the composite.  In each one the creator of the work is expressing themselves and there moment.
I also follow a lot of photographers from around the world, of different culture and religions. Some use their photographs to express their beliefs yet I see most of them sharing what would be considered common human experiences.  Family, births, deaths, vacations, work and every day life.  Seeing this shows me that it does not matter where a person is from we all are generally the same.  Thus for me photography has taken on a different meaning and a way of viewing it.  I look at it in the broader scope.
One does not necessarily have to agree with or even like every photo shared by individuals the world over.  We can critique the composition, the technical and even the importance of the image.  These are based by our own personal criteria.  The democracy of the photograph though is that everyone can express themselves and share as they see fit and thus open the doors for communication and discussion. Our photo's are our own and should be viewed as our expression of the world around us.
Here are my photo's from the last week or so.
March 7.  The boy's got some figurines from the theatre this evening.  Still have to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman but they made for an interesting image.
March 8.  A walk through the Safeway flower section yielded some fun photo's
It was also Cool and Luke's Cantare Children's Choir concert and I was able to get a couple of shots while they were on stage.
March 9.  #10 in my Sunday Self-portrait series.  New sunglasses.
After weeks of bitter cold the weather has changes and I found a ladybug and tulips in front of the house.  Canon 7D, 70-200 with a 36mm extension tube.
March 10.  A souvenir from a trip to Holland.  A wooden shoe boat.
March 11.  The lovely Breanna graced my advanced lighting class this evening.
March 12.  Going for a walk in the neighbourhood to enjoy the spring like conditions produced a few nice images.
March 13.  Took my class from the Greater Forest Lawn 55+ society to the zoo to work on camera techniques.  I had a number of good photo's.
These two were inside the penguin plunge exhibit.  Very dim lighting so shot at 3200 and the 70-200 lens.

A little demonstration on shutter speed.  The first of the fountain and rainbow was taken at 1/500 sec. and the second at 1/15 sec.
 March 14.  A fennel bulb at Safeway converted to Black and White.
March 15.  My wife planted seeds last week and the beans are already sprouting.  7D, 24-70 with 20mm extension tube.
March 16.  #11 in the Sunday Self-portrait series.  In a bit of a contemplative mood today.
A lone squirrel made it's way on to the rock in front of our house.  I quickly grabbed the 7D with the 70-200 and shot an image from the window.

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