Wednesday, 01 April 2009 04:27

Why Photography?

This is a question I have been asking myself for the past few years. While, as in most cases in life, there are logical explanations to where I find myself today, it is still fascinating how life leads you to where you ought to be, and looking back, it just baffles me how things change so rapidly, and how we can point our finger at those key moments which change our life.

My father is a photographer. It is the only thing he has done since he was 14, and I can say he’s pretty darn good at it. But it was his work, he had been doing it for over 40 years, had been disillusioned by this island’s aversion to change and new things, and ended up hating it. I could never dare follow in his footsteps. I was directed towards the sciences, which I did enjoy thoroughly. Today, I understand that they fascinated me because of the workings of nature, and when I chose to move into IT, it was because I was fascinated by the creative aspect, and the control it gives you over the creative detail.

I had always been playing with cameras, since I was a kid, and a little more seriously since I was 16 and got my first Minolta SLR. During university photography took second stage, but the key moment arrived shortly after graduation, when I decided it was time I tried digital. There came a day in my life, when I realised that I could express myself, ┬ácommunicate through a photograph. At that point, it wasn’t photography any longer. It was art. The medium takes second stage – the end justifies the means. Finally, what you use to achieve your goal is irrelevant – in my case, it was simply the fact that I felt comfortable within this medium; it fit in with my character, and my existent skill set.

It took a few years, and a lot of experiments gone wrong, to get to a point where technique took second stage, but it it something which every artist should achieve. I learn new things every day, and will do so for the rest of my life, but these are simply new tools which are used to achieve what I want. I am no photography guru – far from it. Coming to think of it, one of the key difference between an artist and a craftsman is that the artists learn what they need to achieve what they want, while the craftsmen achieve what they need with what they know. It is “the end justifies the means” vs “the means justify the end”.

This brings to mind an eternal battle which is raging all over the Internet (and beyond, if there any such thing), between the “film” and “digital”. This brings me back to my point. There is no such thing as film or digital. There is photography, or actually, there is just art. I would use film if I thought that it would bet the right medium for me to create what I needed. Until now, digital has served me well, but who knows what will boil up in my brain tomorrow?

More in this category: « When Photography Lost its Art