My Philosophy or I suppose more correctly – why do I do this?
Those who know me well know that this is not my first career. There are clues to that – not hidden too deeply it has to be said – all over the site.
I think it would be fair to say that I was educated to think scientifically. I am sure that the schooling system has moved on since my time but way back then you had a limited choice and mine was “art or science”. I even tried for a while to do both (took certain grade exams in music so that I could be excused a paper or two at “O” level music but then found that the syllabus was not flexible enough to let me take music along with my other science choices. Why science then? Lack of imagination on my behalf and following a well trodden family route.
I have been disappointed at times with how little time I have had over the years for a proper well rounded education but finally ended up realising that it is not art or science but both.
So this for me is an opportunity to exercise certain not previously well used muscles and it has formed a wonderful relief valve. Now if you are still reading this and I have not disappeared too far up a certain place then perhaps you will allow me to go on a bit further.
Lots of different types of photography and I love the fact that within the subgenre of fashion photography there has long been a real issue with regarding any of it as art. This seems to come from the fact that the primary purpose of fashion images is to sell a product. Therefore the purists get really upset and snooty.
Within my own local sphere fashion images get overlooked all the time as the very fact that rule breaking forms the essence of the style makes it almost impossible for judges to comment appropriately. Funny old world -bottom line – do not look for your peers to shower you with accolade – Richard Avedon being a perfect example.
So do I think of my “stuff” as art? Well there’s the thing – there is certainly a lot of science in photography in terms of number crunching and inverse square laws etc but one of the reasons I am so happy to divulge how I do things relates to the fact that two people will add exactly the same ingerdients and get a totally different image – wonderful and something that won’t ever occur in the exact same way again.
Which brings me to “why dance photography?” I am a control freak and I love getting the right focal length, shutter speed, aperture, lighting ratio etc all “correct” but then I love the element of chance that means that you may not get the dancer at the height of her leap the first time, or the wind may blow the scarf across the dancer’s face – but with a little luck and a lot of persistence you get something that is more than the sum of the constituent parts – a truly wonderful, possibly never to be repeated moment in time.
And that is surely what photography (“painting with light”) is all about