THE PHOTOGRAPHIC ACT
“Select a space, decide an instant”
Foreword to all my non-Catalan or Spanish speaking friends:
This will be an English resume of my blog texts. Please by kind with me about my grammar skills, and never doubt in suggesting any correction for the mistakes you may find.
What’s a photography? When it becomes just an image?
I think this is only a photographer’s matter: the author is the only one who really knows. But the first thing would be defining what a photography is. In my opinion, a photography is the result of what’s called “the photographic act”, meaning “selecting a space and deciding a moment”
That’s the point of my way to understand photography. The point is what we got and when, what can we do in this “photographic act”.
This is not good neither bad, in a hypothetic list of my 25 images, some of them are the result of a severe reframing: Arnold Newman’s gorgeous portrait of Igor Stravinsky, i.e
But I think that the peak of a photography creation is this moment when the eye is able to manage space and content and decide a precise moment. A unique experience which is the base of my photographic experience.
Each one tries to optimize his photographic production his way, but “post photographic act” corrections are not the process that makes me enjoy photography, no matter if I talk as an author or as a professional.
Often, when discussing about that, people refer to “little corrections” to avoid undesired elements or to correct composition mistakes.
Two thinks to say about it. First, what is the problem in assuming imperfection? We will do it better next time! Second, up to what point we accept reframing? It’s easy to extract a good image from another, but after that nobody can say that he/she has made this picture.
A good example of what I mean is the image of Poland photographer Stepan Rudik, disqualified from WPF in 2010 because he eliminated some disturbing element of the contest picture.
As a documentary photographer I think that’s unacceptable, although everyone can do no matter what with his personal work. But, for me, the surprising point is that the picture in contest has no relation with the original one, the one taken by the photographer:
Having seen the picture, look at my eyes and tell me that the photographer has taken the photography on WPF contest: I honestly think the answer is no.
It is not “purism”, and I’m not saying that’s something not to be done, I’m just explaining that it is not the way I understand my photography and why. It is just to guess how I enjoy most the chance of freezing time with photography. That’s all.