Wednesday, 18 February 2015

What photography has taught me

1975, New Canaan, Conn. @ Copyright by Nicholas Nixon

It was in 1999, while studying at the School of Media, Journalism and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, that I developed a serious interest in photography. This was due to my photography tutor, Daniel Meadows, who after almost thirty years of teaching hadn't lost his enthusiasm. 

My Master thesis was on documentary photography and that is still the photo field I warm to most. Dorothea Lange's quote: "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera" defines my interest well.

Documentary photography means to go out into the world, to confront yourself with what is out there  and then tell us about it, with pictures, and with words. It can also mean  and that is one of the most intriguing aspects of photography – to document time.

One of the most impressive, and touching, documentary projects I've ever come across is Forty Portraits in Forty Years by Nicholas Nixon who makes me see, and feel, a reality I'm rarely aware of. The passing of time, that is. Understanding is a feeling, Robert Adams once noted, and never has this been more obvious than when spending time with Nixon's portraits of the Brown Sisters.

For more, see here

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