In one of my last posts I mentioned the exercise to find five words that we use when we describe our favorite photos. I’ve been thinking about this on and off and I’m having my difficulties with it – which for a good part has to do with the “mental connection” that this German brain is able to make with English words when it comes to visual art.
Another thing that’s been holding me back a little is the fact that – surprise! – I like the photos on this website and when I evaluate them once I found my five words, I want to make sure that the photos that I like so much do match one or more of these words. Because if they didn’t, something would be extremely off: how could I make and show photos that don’t match my own description and vision? After almost eight years of photography, there’s gotta be some consistency.
So the first word that I’m certain about, and without any doubt, is “complex” (maybe even “cluttered” or “chaotic”, it depends). I certainly have images like that in my portfolio that I like very much. I find chaos and complexity in nature attractive, and I aim the camera at scenes with visual clutter, wondering if I may be able to extract what I saw in it, and transport it to the viewer. I still remember a hike with my friend Joseph when he saw me make a photo of “clutter” – he asked: “what do you see in that?” with both genuine curiosity and bewilderment in his voice. :-)
I probably don’t always succeed, and it often takes me quite a while to approach such images until I find a way to present more complex photos that is to my liking. The above photo of Cedar Creek is one such image. I made it in March 2011. One would think that the reduction to black & white makes an image like that even more difficult to take in because the separation of elements that color provides is gone – yet I found that quite often, the opposite is true: taking color away means taking an element away that adds complexity.
A couple more images that fit the word “complex” are in the gallery below:
Four more words to go…
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