Friday, December 12, 2014

The “Idea” vs. the “Technique” in the Mind of a Photographer.

When you enter a museum room one of the pictures captures your attention. It can be a stunning landscape, a beautiful portrait, a delicious still life. It strikes a deep chord in your heart…provokes emotions or maybe forgotten feelings…At some unconscious level you feel a magic connection to the artwork.

Then you come nearer toward the canvas. A subtle alteration suddenly appears. Your eyes notice paint-brush strokes… you discover some imperfections…And sometimes (not every time) the mystery disappears…

You begin to think about specific techniques, about colors and canvas…
Then you step back from the artwork and paint-brush strokes transform again into a landscape or a girl’s face… the painter’s technique converts  into your emotions and feelings…

As a rule, from one distance you appreciate the painter’s skill (technique), from another – you enjoy his ideas.

 I noticed this picture at the shop window. I saw lovely flowers…
When I came closer I noticed paint-brush strokes…

Anytime when you watch a photograph you can either concentrate on the emotions and feelings or you can analyze the technique, thinking about the exposure, aperture, shutter speed or how sharp it is.

“Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are, I assume that it isn't a very interesting photograph. If it were, they would have more to say”. (Author Unknown)

If we’re continually thinking about technique, we are in danger of forgetting the purpose of the photography. Yet we cannot move forward as a photographer without the technical practice and thinking.

When you focus exclusively on the technique, you lose something crucial. Maybe you know the photographers with an excellent technique who don’t make any mistakes, yet, their photographs are lacking in life. Without emotions and photographic vision right composition, white balance, etc. have little effect on most if not all  people.

When you focus only on your idea, knowing nothing about technique you can’t convey this idea properly.

All you need is a balance when technique becomes the vehicle for the expression of your feelings and ideas.

So it’s not “Idea” vs. “Technique”, but “Idea” and “Technique” that unite to become genuine photography.

“The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration, but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come.” (Steven Pressfield)
Happy shooting!

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