Lately I’m been making quite a few experimental photo based images. The most recent works are composite images combining photos from my archive with various found textures using a variety of techniques. The results range from good to downright awful. Many people who see the resulting work find it quite annoying and without conventional aesthetic appeal. Guilty as charged.
For many years I constrained myself to making photographs in the predictable way most non-professionals work, which is of course to emulate professionals. I worked especially hard to learn digital black and white photography. It is fun and interesting to produce good black and white work that fits within that conventional niche. Making a good finished photo is still satisfying to me.
I have reached a point where I need to be able to exercise more creativity in my work. I still make black and white images but they are often interpreted into something more like photo based digital art. That is not a term I embrace but it makes the point that many of my images are no longer completely photographic.
I’m not giving anything up by doing interpreted images. It just means my practice has broadened to include other types of image making. Right now I’m only using digital techniques but I hope to start physically modifying paper based images with paint and tools in the future. I’m not a great artist, but I draw inspiration from Matisse who worked with paper and scissors in his last years. He had courage to continue making excellent new work. Maybe I can do the same thing.
The first year of phototrice.com is drawing to a close. I really had no expectation that the blog would still be up and running at the beginning of 2017. Since publishing the first post in February I have managed to contribute a total of 110 posts and more than 30 calendars. The truth is that phototrice has helped me understand photography in ways that I probably would not have considered otherwise. It has helped me grow as a photographer and image maker. The next year should be even better.
The images in the gallery above link to posts which have 2017 calendars available for download. Please feel free to grab any or all of them at your convenience. Just click on any of the images to go directly to the post containing that particular calendar.
Photography has been an integral part of successful marketing for more than a hundred years. Images provide a direct route to our emotion driven selves. Our brains are wired to interpret images as triggers for responses such as fear, sex, aggression, flight and desire. Words are interpreted and filtered but images have instant impact on our mammalian brains. Marketers use this fact to great advantage. They are advocates and make no bones about that. Publishing subtly biased images is a basic technique of mass persuasion and propaganda.
Consider the following images.
These images all have an emotional impact of some kind on the viewer. Our brain determines at a glance whether to trigger survival mode or some emotional response without conscious thought. It is simple, image perceived and emotional response triggered. This is the basis for much of the mass marketing that we see every day. As our attention spans shrink, marketing via high impact imagery becomes ever more important.
With the exception of straight documentary vernacular work, photographers should always strive to create images that bring forth emotional responses. We craft images using content and arrangements of elements to make a visual statement. In effect we are marketing our work. In my mind much of the difference between a technically competent image and a great photograph is emotional content. An attractive image that does not make an emotional connection will be easily forgotten in a world saturated with images.