When we remove the recognisable, the unseen becomes visible.
I have recently been involved in a very interesting project, which I will not reveal details of as yet (suspense!). What I can say is that it was a challenge, since, like most other things, the theme has been visited quite often. In these cases (and not only), is way too easy to fall into cliches and two-dimensionality, when on the other hand we want to engage the viewers and invite them to delve into the photograph – to feel part of it.
Although the theme might be brimming with emotion, as is this case, it is still challenging to find a way to strip off the “excess”, leaving only the bare essentials in the image. I speak on a personal level, however I am pretty sure that any photographer would be hard pressed to achieve this. The medium being photography is also another limit. I wanted to try to achieve my goal on-site, and not in post processing, since I felt that in this particular case, it was a little bit like cheating. I have absolutely no issues processing my photography until it has very little to do with what it looked like originally, however in this case, I felt that I should be true to the moment, which obviously made the whole exercise even harder.
I do not know whether I have achieved my goal. That is something which is up to the viewers to judge, however I can say that I am quite satisfied with the results. The theme in question involves movement (that’s quite a hint), so it was clear that I needed to portray that, since in the end, it is the subtleties in the motion, and the interaction between the participants that makes the image, and not the people itself. I searched for details in expressions, movements, sequences – trying to identify the subtleties that externalise the emotions which are being exchanged.
By now it might be clearer what the theme revolves around, however I will simply conclude with a couple of images. I will add more as they materialise. Comments, as always, are more than welcome.
Looking back at these images, I can see the way the idea developed, from capturing the bigger picture, to a detail, and finally to a purely conceptual level, which although containing nothing much which is recognisable, still conveys the mood and emotion of the moment – or at least, that’s the intention. Each of these images has got its own value in my mind, and I am not stating that any one is better than the others. As it happens, however, a concept takes shape across time, leaving its milestones along the way. Each of them are equally important in order to reach the destination, if after all there is one to be reached.