Are We Seeing the Same Thing?

Hello everyone! Today I want to write about photography interpretations. I read somewhere that photography is one of the few universal languages, everybody speaks photographs. I love photography because it can transport the viewer into another place in time, into another place in the world. But photography is ambiguous, it inherently lacks concrete expression, it can say something a little bit different to everyone. Lots of people will look at a beautiful landscape photograph and say it’s boring, a lot of people will look at a dark and depressing social documentary photography and say it’s interesting. What I find fascinating is that the history of photography is one of rich communication without the use of common definitions, only objects and symbols taken out of their place in reality and placed alongside each other in the form of a photograph.

Of course there are some interpretations that are more correct than others, but photographs intrinsically can’t “speak” they can only (re)present/distort the thing in front of the camera. If you consider art to be the transition of ideas from one person to another than every time someone looks at the thing on the wall then something a little bit different happens every time. We all have unique upbringings, someone that grew up in the countryside may feel a lot differently about a photograph taken of a field than someone who has never seen that particular place in their life. These two people may be seeing the same thing but their viewpoints on the world make them see it differently.

Every time I have an exhibition of my photographs I learn that the ones that other people love are rarely the ones that I love. Most often the ones that I think are “just good enough” are the photographs that other people find to be their favorite. Perhaps as artists we should relinquish control over which photographs the world gets to see because our bias as the artist means that we can rarely understand what other people are going to like. But at the same time I feel it’s the artist's job to forget about other people's opinions and create works of art that pleases themselves. I guess it’s just yin and yang, We need to constantly switch between the two ideals, realizing that too much of either is a bad thing. One of the great things about photography is that it speaks a little bit differently to everyone. This is what’s so interesting about photography or any visual art. Visual art has the power to communicate in a way that is unique, it speaks through shapes and form. I think part of the fun is figuring out just how much we as visual artists can stretch the limits of conversation, using such difficult means.

My New Passion for Writing

Hello everyone! I’ve been doing a lot of writing recently, not just about my life or about photography but writing everything that comes to mind, book ideas, movie ideas, theater ideas. One day I want to achieve at least one of these things. I really feel like writing is becoming a new creative outlet for me just as much as photography. All because one day I decided I wanted to start this blog. It’s funny because I never thought writing would evolve into such a passion. Now I keep a journal with me as much as I can. Typing is better for “getting in the zone” because it allows me to rapidly push out my thoughts whereas with writing I’m just a little bit slower, which isn’t a bad thing. Taking a little bit of extra time to think about what I’m trying to express can be helpful when it comes to figuring out the best words to use. Although I’ve never tried shooting film a lot of people say it’s beneficial because it slows them down, makes them think more. I guess when you get down to it the two mediums are a lot more similar than they are different. They both lend themselves to storytellers, they’re both outlets for the creator, both of them have the power to change the audience's viewpoint about the world. I think I’ll always be a passionate photographer, but this newfound passion for writing may be a sign that my life may change direction in a way that I can barely foresee right now. I’m only 21 and there are very few people whose life remains on the same track from their twenties throughout their life. Anyway there’s no point in trying to peer into the crystal ball of the future. I’ve gotta think about the now and figure out how I’m going to make it the best present it can be. Here’s a photo I took years ago when I was in photography school and was still learning about macro photography.

Why I Love Blogging

I freaking love blogging. I love writing, and I love forcing myself to come up with something every week. It’s a fun challenge to try to make a cohesive blog post every week. It’s easy to feel as though I understand my thoughts and ideas, but once I try writing them down it’s kind of like a second filter to make sure I truly understand what I’m feeling and trying to say. This has helped me immensely when it comes to explaining things to myself and others. Now that I’ve been writing for so long I feel as though I’m a better communicator and just generally understand myself better.

My blog still has a long way to go. I still think I’m pretty far away from creating one of the great blogs on the web, and that’s okay. My blog is about forcing myself to write and finish something every week. Kind of like self imposed homework. If I only put out a blog post when I was 100% happy with what I’ve created then I would only post about once every month or two. Similar to how often I put out new photographs. Why the difference? Because my photography is my favorite passion, it’s the form of communication that’s most important to me. I feel as though it’s critical for me to curate my photography because if I don’t then I’m only contributing to a visual overload of stimulus, and if I allow myself to degrade the artist-viewer relationship to one of constant stimulation then you’re no longer creating something that will last in the viewers minds and leave them thinking, you’re just giving them a distraction for a few seconds.

But the thing with my blog posts is that it’s not meant to be the final draft of an epic work, it’s just an update, a public diary in a sense. I know a lot of people feel that with their photographs they want to create visual updates on what they’re doing/seeing and that’s okay. Maybe even a better way of using the tool than what I use it for. But it’s not the way I want to use photography. Anyway just some quick ramblings on what I’ve been thinking about today, I hope you all have an amazing week!