Last week via a posting on their instagram channel, Magnum Photos shared a series of photos made by Martin Parr. They came from his work on tourism. That post came very timely for me. I’m just back from a holiday, and witnessed the tourist in full action again. After the long period of travel bans, work from home and so on, seeing this animal again in the wild was nice.
Some weeks ago, a discussion around a literary price here in the Netherlands reminded me of some photos that I find very fascinating.
The discussion, in short, was whether or not the author deserved to win a (very esteemed) prize, as the author supported or didn’t condemn a former Surinam regime that is seen as a pretty bad dictatorship. The literary work, as far as I understood, isn’t under discussion and is generally praised.
The issue hence is the political opinion of the artist versus the merit of the artist’s works.
Most of the recent posts are about making photos. The craft of creating a compelling image is a fascinating subject, as it touches both a technical side, pure craft, and a creative, imaginative side, which tends more towards the black arts of art.
There is also the side of being a viewer. Watch a photo, look at it carefully. Let your imagination, rational thoughts run with it. Find a superficiality or depth. Try to understand its maker and the message (if any).
Are photographs memories? Often you will read they are. But isn’t that the marketing department trying to make us buy more gear? Or is that too cynical?
Photos aren’t memories, but for sure they can help us remember precious moments. They can help rejuvinate the memory of loved ones, special places or events. But pitching photos only as memories might be selling things short.
There are billions of images available, and the vast majority most of us will never see. But out of that fraction that we do see, some stick with us. They move us, unearth something inside. It’s not necessarily finding something beautiful, but a fascination and emotional response.
Every now and then I’d like to share photos that fascinate me. First up is a photographer I really adore and that inspires me: Brassaï. For what reasons did his photos capture me? Continue reading “Confirmation and inspiration”
The internet – a blessing or a curse for photography?
If you were to believe “serious photographers”, you’d believe it’s a curse. An abundance of photos of parties, food, fun with friends and other events. Countless selfies. Influencers desperately trying to hide they’re just an advertisement (and failing to hide that). Quick shots from the hip. Images that have no purpose beyond publishing more pictures.