Here's a new picture. It's a composite of about 45 images over half an hour. It really happened just like this, however. Even though it was only in my head.
I've been thinking about a certain kind of photographers often says something like, "reality is richer, stranger and more varied than imagination." They mean that you should go out and take pictures of real things and leave making things up to painters, novelists, sculptors, filmmakers, etc. It's true that the strength of photography is its documentary capability. But I think it's also true that all photographs are acts of imagination. The decision to photograph, say, man's effect on nature by taking pictures of orange lakes, trash-strewn fields, etc., is an idea, an act of imagination itself. And the truly successful work in this vein succeeds because it's imaginative, that is, we see this standard subject in a new way.
Call me defensive, but I think reality-imagination divide is kind of artificial. I guess I think my work straddles the divide, or at least does both things wrong.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sometimes I just put my camera on the bench where I'm sitting and take pictures. If I don't bump it, it works as well as a tripod. It also makes me pretty inconspicuous. Many of these people, I believe, were snickering over the figures in the fountain--two nude boys, one riding on the other's bare bottom. When I was taking the pictures, I noticed people smiling, but involved as I was, I didn't notice what they were smiling at.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
I'm all excited because something called China Photo Press is publishing some of my pictures and an interview. The editor, who is very nice, asked for a portrait of me, and above is the self-portrait I sent. China Photo Press is sponsored by the China Photographers Association, which is affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party! It's a twice-weekly printed newspaper! The self-portrait was made while I was taking pictures for another composite (Stepping). Some tourists dragged me from behind my camera and asked me to take their picture. I also took my own picture taking their picture.