On Photography…an open letter
Black and White photography is so captivating and personal. When I feel stressed I go to a bookstore and flip through photo books. Photography takes me out of my head, the rush of my daily thoughts stop for a moment and allow the presence of the moment to take over. To capture that glimpse of humanity and authenticity. Your soul can’t lie when looking into a lens. You’re there, and I see you.
A good photograph is subjective but we can all, hopefully, agree, that a good photograph always tells a story, good or bad, it might not always be perfect lighting, follow the rule of thirds, but it always tells a story…it shows what the eye may not always capture, it holds on to a moment in time.
Photographers like Henri Cartier Besson, Francesca Woodman, and one of my favorites, Duane Michaels, all capture the complexity and rawness of humanity, of chance, and existentialism…To me, photography is the closest we will ever get to the truth.
When I can’t put my thoughts or worries into words, photographs from timeless photographers seem to bring clarity to my life and make me feel like I’m not alone. I don’t mean to sound too sappy, but I believe we all need to have that something that we cherish and understand us even when we might not. Classical music does this for me too, not all classical music but simple piano like Chopin or Mozart. It taps into those suppressed areas deep in our heart and soul.
My father is a photographer, I learned how to work a camera since I was a kid when I had to assist him. Photography is more than just picking up a camera and setting it on auto—that doesn’t require much thinking or art form. My photography of preference is film, yes even now. I learned how to use chemicals and develop my own film last fall. I lived in that darkroom with my headphones on playing Moonlight Sonata and Gnossienne No. 3 on repeat. It makes me smile thinking about it, it was my haven. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done when I don’t feel the pressure of time hanging on my back. My shoulders are relaxed, my neck at ease and unafraid, my mind fully aware without distractions. I aim to capture the essence of my subject with balance and interesting lines and shapes. I want others to see the world the way I do…
Sharing my photographs with you is sharing a part of my intimacy–a part of myself. I keep my passion close to my heart and I stay away from sharing too many photographs online because I don’t want opinions or criticism to taint the love I have for photography.
I am not pursuing photography professionally because I am afraid that if I do I will lose my only true friend, I don’t want to get to a point where photography becomes a job and I find myself doing the same thing over and over again. This is why I will keep it close and protect it with the goal of preserving it for as long as possible….