Isn’t it extraordinary when we find old photographs that belonged to our grandparents? The almost always serious expressions of the people, the way they are dressed and placed to seem serious and proud. Perhaps it is only me. But I find it beautiful. The photographs that are a little bit worn because of time, the films and the filters people used. I was always kind of interested in photography and when I finally got the chance, I dived into it.
Photography always seemed fascinating to me. I’m not talking about selfies or photos taken in anniversaries. What I have in mind, is photography from an unconventional, artistic (if I may say) point of view that captures feelings, fleeting moments of happiness or sadness. Photographs that show something that is not really there, thoughts that cannot be spoken, expressions that tell the truth, or expressions that tell lies.
Photography has a lot to offer. First and foremost, it shows you the world from a different perspective. You learn how to pay attention to spaces, to colors, to light, and especially, to people around you. In other words, the world is presented as an infinite source of information and photography shows you a way to use this information in order to create images.
“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”
— Diane Arbus
Photography, however, is not a one-way street. From how I see it, it needs devotion, studying (even for amateurs like me) and most importantly, it requires one to be curious. Curiosity is what drives us to lift up our cameras and capture what is in front of us in the first place. We see, we observe and we capture what and who we find interesting.
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
— Elliott Erwitt
Each photographer expresses something different through their work, either it is an emotion or a message. And to take it a step further, the messages they want to convey are sometimes perceived differently from the viewers. What we find interesting, others may not care for it, and to be frank, that is okay. It is not a matter of whether an image is photographically correct or not, but a matter of taste. After all, this is what art does. It makes us ponder, and in this case, the photographers are those who pose the questions even if they do not have the answer themselves yet.
“When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.”
— Wynn Bullock
To be honest, taking up photography in the middle of the pandemic is a little hard, as strolling around the city is not so easy. But if you really want it, and as I said before, you are willing to be devoted to it, it can work. So, if you are fond of art and want to pursue it, I highly recommend taking photography up as a hobby. And, owning a camera or not is not a big deal at least in the beginning. Smartphones can do the trick for a little while. Don’t forget, we all started with what we had at the time. Cameras do not make us better, they are just machinery, making our jobs easier. But everything is hard at first. If we keep with it, it gets better. Right?
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