Photography the Shapeshifter

Looking at a number of contexts through which the photography nowadays can be seen. How can my work be seen?

As I explore my current  photographic practice, I notice how much it evolved (and continues to) and how differently I see the content of my work nowadays as compared to even few months ago. As I continue to experiment with my work and expand my knowledge of contemporary photography,  I realize more and more the way I express my visual direction and how various contexts influence my photographic outcome. 

I have a bit of a documentarist inside me and like to create my visual stories as realistic as possible. Whether it is a football game, a wedding or a business event, I like explore my subjects and their emotional connection to the event as well as find the co-relations between all involved parties.

The Photographer’s Eye by John Szarkowski became the newest addition to my book collection recently. As I am digging deeper into Szarkowski’s work, I am reflecting upon my own approach to my photographic vision. I reflect why I notice and select a specific characteristics in my work and how up to now I considered my work be on the side of “functional” rather than “fine art”. However, as I examine my work closer and look at the content, the frame, the subject and the vision of my photograph, I am beginning to see indirect co-relations and I see what he meant by looking at photographs.  

Maybe I just haven’t seen it yet?

I also noticed recently how differently I look at photographs. If I was asked last year to describe a photograph, I would glance at it briefly without really seeing a story in it or how the photograph is constructed, and whether I see the purpose of it. My description of a photograph then would be very minimalistic. Now I look at photographs, think, walk away, often come back and look at them again, as something triggers my reflection about it. And it is that “something” that I want to explore further, think about it, question it perhaps, maybe guess why did the photographer take this approach.

I would argue that a photograph is a representation of a moment in time; and as realistic as I want to see it, that moment is also influenced by the purpose of the photograph, time and point of view of the person making the photograph. It is a representation of a moment in time – the moment that I, the photographer see.

I started my research project based on a story of my son who’s sporting career was cut short due to an injury. As I got more involved with the project, it made me think of, how many visual avenues I can develop  from his personal story and how sports can be nearly endless array of stories and how they affect every day of people’s lives. 

Stop the time and create a static record of the moment.

Realizing that the photography medium poses some constrains with capturing the reality, as well as a selection of the detail at any given time – I try to focus on creating a relationship between the subject and the format of the photograph. I can not only capture, but become my own creator of that static moment in time, that I can influence with my choices of frame and the subject. I also realize how limited I am when it comes to time and limitations to frame them in a split second of reality, which changes continuously.

The unique nature of photography gives me a chance to see things that my viewer might not even think about; yet together, the photograph can produce a wide array of different emotions, views and possible influences of the future. Same applies to the subject. I had sessions where my view and the subject had different ideas for the outcome of the photograph. I am always interested in such explorations, as they make me get to know my subject/viewer better and at the same time, point out something I didn’t think about, something that could dramatically change how I perceive that given photograph. 

I like to think that I include my emotions in my photographs as well, that I don’t  just record a split second of the world’s existence, but I also include someone’s feelings in the image. I also want to explore further what I feel at  that moment when I push that shutter button, why am I seeing this item or this aspect and how feeling it, reflects what I capture in the reality. This is a new area of exploration for me that I want to pursue further. 

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