Wednesday, 4 January 2023

Learning to choose

In the early1980s, at Matala Beach on the island of Crete, Ilse from Unterföhring told me that when she's taking pictures she always concentrates on something specific like chairs, doors or windows. I thought this an excellent approach and so I copied it for a while. And, I felt enchanted by the results. I'm still at a loss to explain why I eventually stopped pursuing it.

Twenty years later, I began to develop a rather intellectual interest in photography. My focus was on what pictures can tell. Not as much as we would like to think, I eventually concluded, for we mostly see in a picture what we bring to it: If I judge a person as a moron, I will very likely see a moron in a photograph of him (or her, of course).

When, about three years ago, I started to use my cell phone to take photographs, I had no plan what to photograph. I simply took pictures of objects and scenes that my eyes felt pleased by. My taking photographs, it seemed to me, was mainly defined by the possibilities that my cell phone camera did offer – mostly, I felt attracted by its ability to zoom in on flowers by the side of the road that so far I had not even noticed were there.

Another aspect of my taking photographs is my fascination for framing that I consider the essence of photography. Contrary to painting, where you create everything from scratch, what you photograph is already there: You only decide what to put inside the frame and what to leave out of it. 

For the full text, go here.

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