In order to photograph in a meaningful way, you have to be photographing your world. — Nicholas Vreeland
Before you can make a photograph, you first have to see something. As Joel Meyerowitz mentions in the first video, some photographers go out with an idea in mind. The problem with that is that if you are looking for something, that’s all you’ll be able to see. True master photographers, even when they have a concept in mind, respond to the environment. They “play with illusion.” They stretch reality around the frame and allow the viewer to explore the environment via the camera.
The idea that there is one way to photograph is ludicrous. Black and white is the “pure art form.” Color is playing. Bullshit. You think color is easy? Then ask yourself why so few have mastered it. The greats use whatever is there. They see the shot by allowing themselves to decide what is interesting dynamically.
Here are a few videos to give you some ideas of how to free yourself from your current processes or even from the vision you have of your work. We’ll start with the master, Joel Meyerowitz, and go through Mona Kuhn, Ken Schles, Eamonn Doyle, and Nicholas Vreeland. You don’t have to like their work; that’s not the point. What you should be looking for are ways to free yourself from the camera. Too often, we become the little box in our hand, fretting over the technical aspects (which don’t really matter as much as you think) instead of allowing it to become an extension of our visual cortex and our imaginations.
At the beginning, I don’t really censor any of my reactions. Later on, when I’m editing the work, maybe more of my mind or my critical self comes in. — Mona Kuhn
That, my shutterbugs, is the goal.