sábado, 17 de março de 2018

Switching from B&W to Color

When sometimes people ask me why I´m doing now Photograpy only in colors I answer that it is because  I have color memories and I dream in color. But what interests me more is the emotion of the images through the use at same time of shadow and color rendering. I feel color brings out in my photos an extra meaning and better depth / layers / tridimensionality - improving object recognition and associations inside frame. Color should be part of the story, not a distraction from it.
It is definitely a personal preference. Some photographers only shoot in color, others prefer black and white for all their work. What really matters is that a photograph is good one - either in Color or in B&W. Both mediums have is own benefits.
It is known that there are several great photographers that have switched to color: Stephen Shore, Fred Herzog, William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, Joel Meyerowitz, Nikos Economopoulos, etc.
The evolution of a photographer is done mainly in an instinctive way. Things happen gradually and intuitively without being programmed. And sometimes they surprises us.
Our way of seeing may change over the years. If it is so - means the photographer in us has not stagnated and evolved. And it can switch from B&W to Color or from Color to B&W.
All quotations from authors defending the supremacy of one over the other are biased and are intended to justify the kind of photography that one does.

sábado, 10 de março de 2018

Shooting in a small town:

As we are photographing in the street it is important the relashionship between things and persons. The gaze between people, the gestures, humor, the adds, juxtapositions, etc.
I agree with Joel Meyerowitz quote: “ You could frame anything: unrelated things, and putting them in a frame suddenly they are related and you have an image that perhaps is surreal, or magical, or prophetic.”.
It will be better to get if you photograph 3 or more People in the frame where at least someone is doing something to someone else. But this is easier to do in big cities (New York, London, etc.) where the human flow in the streets is enormous and full of interesting characters and events.
And I must confess that I do not sympathize with a genre of street pictures depicting only the daily flow of people in the streets of cities who are an increasingly frequent cliché: just people passing by without any kind of relationship. This may be photojournalism and good to document clothes and habits for someone in the future (if it will be one) to know how we used to live in the beggining of XXI century. But it is boring and poor quality street photography - where everyone tries to shoot the same thing the same way.

But when we inhabit a small city it is very difficult to get street shots with good narratives. In small towns usually only few people pass through the streets and extraordinary situations are rarer than in big cities.
On the other hand, nowadays people who pass through the streets are almost unrelated either by gestures, gazes or contact and about 30% is "connected" to the mobile phone. Again I quote from Joel Meyerowitz:
“In the 60s and 70s you could look at my street photographs and trace lines from the eyes of people connecting with other people’s eyes, setting up these force fields…” ” Today Nobody’s looking at each other. Everybody’s glued to their phones...” The best street photographers now show humans dwarfed by ad billboards. The street has lost its savour.” – Joel Meyerowitz.

To overcome these difficulties it seems legitimate that – shooting in a small town – we have to find other ways to make interesting street photographs and finding our own “voice”. It is understandable that we can direct our attention at themes with less narrative like: Graphic, Abstract, Minimalism, Without People, Shadows / Light play, etc.
Do we have to follow always the traditional or politically correct current of the works of the best known people, based on the idea of telling a story? As if an Art form had to have necessarily to build a narrative. Photography on the streets may also be Art and contemplated as for its aesthetic and compositional characteristics. Just a way of seeing where visual pleasure and composition are decisive.