A while back, I hosted a website about the world’s legendary photographers. These were Ansel Adams (of course), Sebastian Salgado, Yousouf Karsh, and many more. One by one I observed their galleries and then interpreted and blogged what I believed was the message the photographer tried to convey through their photography. I also noted and studied their composition, lighting, and moments. Truly, they are exceptional.
However, the one thing to note about them is that they were consistent in their work. Meaning that their photography genre, objects photographed, and style of presentation of each image has the photographer’s signature characteristics. And through this consistency they are then well known in the world of photography. Take for example, when we say Ansel Adams, then we automatically picture his black-and-white landscape masterpieces. Or, when one thinks of Yousouf Karsh, then one would imagine his photographs of world leaders. For Salgado and Nachtwey, it’s their dramatic journalistic photographs that come to mind.
This not only applies in the world of photography, but also any other forms of arts or hobbies. In the painting world, for example, Van Gogh and Picasso had two distinctly different styles and both were famous for them. Also in cinematography, George Lucas and Woody Allen are two big names with contrast styles.
Then did they never stray from their respective styles and were they always photographing those same things? The answer is a definite maybe. Someone like Nachtwey may very have once in a while taken pictures of butterflies in his backyard. Sure, why not? But chances are he didn’t publish any of them. These may have just been kept in his studios for personal enjoyment. The results of his trip to Balkan, Indonesia, Africa, and so forth are what he would publish. Maybe Ansel may have taken photographs of famous Hollywood stars? Possibly.
This post is really for a little light reading to encourage you folks as the reader to re-think or refresh your work paradigm. Do we not what they had? A little bit of success in something we are passionate about? Wouldn’t it be sweet to just even have a tiny fraction of what they accomplished? And to have our name be synonymous with our own consistent style? It’s actually quite easy to achieve this consistency. We’re drawn to and fascinated by objects long before we’ve learned and loved photography, right? I love all of God’s beautiful creations, and they are beautiful to preserve. And everything around us, it seems, at one time another we’ve had that thought of “I wish I had brought a camera!” Just follow these instincts and bring your camera everywhere you go. What you’re interested in will draw you into that consistency.
The existence of the digital camera and especially the digital darkroom clearly helps us in repairing/editing, manipulating and making our resulting photos more interesting and attractive. And this helps us to further develop our style/character of photography. However, we must be careful not to merely wrap something ugly with something artificially beautiful. Establish your own style.
Now let’s look at our photography community around us, remember the handful of our friends whose style are distinct and memorable, list their names, and remember their works. Are they pretty consistent or extremely consistent? Or we could think of it another way: when we think of macro photography, who do you automatically think of? How about landscapes or portraits? In the end the availability of a photography website (such a DeviantArt or 1X) helps us in shaping our style and characteristics before thinking of going pro. In these communities we can practice and forge our styles and is guided by others into the right directions: whether we are consistent or not. Or do you just want to end up a passerby whom no one remembers and whose work doesn’t have an impact?
Ansel Adam Photography
James Nachtwey Photography
Rarindra Prakarsa Photography
via : Fotografer.net