From photography to art: the go away factor

In photography, my efforts consist of freeing myself from the limitations when film braked the creativity: there was little I could do to transform the image into what I saw in my mind. Doing what I call “ transmitted transform “ to digital images has therefore raised as an essential aspect of the journey. Things that were impossible to do with film either in the field or in the darkroom. I call them “ transmitted transform “ because they seem to appear in the mind, coming from nowhere and transmitted by an unspeakable source. 

With digital era, the cost of a single capture is the cost of storage, which is negligible. We can thus go away from trying to get a perfect capture in one shot: a perfect capture can happen mixing a multitude of images. We can shoot as much as we want and maximize our chances of success.

In my opinion, a today’s picture is rarely completed with a single capture. Instead, it must be done with multiple shots assembled in Photoshop or an other postproduction software, by using collaging / stitching techniques to extend the composition, or HDR to extend the dynamic range, or focus stacking to increase the DOF, or whatever. However, trying to density and  build a final image is only one of the things we need to go away of even if we learn how to create artistic photographs.


Therefore ask yourself a few questions:

  • Looking at your approach to create artistic photographs, what do you want to change ? Make a list: what to throw away and what to keep doing.
  • Where do you stand regarding the film vs digital paradigm ? How do you feel about deeply manipulating your photographs ? 
  • Which manipulations are you doing now? Which ones do you want to learn and use in the future?
  • What is the most challenging thing for you to go away of ? Why is that ? 

Turning photography into art means doing something different, something new, something that has maybe been dreamed, but not been done before. Innovation is at the root of art and to innovate we have to go away of preconceptions.

We have to learn to go away. Go away comes after learning. First, we learn, then we run away from what we feel stopping us from being fully creative, from becoming ourselves. Go away starts by changing this belief and clearing our head.

Going away means thus pushing aside the things that prevent us from being creative. It can be a single thing but most of the time they are a lot of. We cannot let them go all at once because we do not necessarily know what they are. We need to go away when discover what they are, one after one.

However, we do not want to run away from everything. We do not want to let go what is positive. Some of the things we are doing are good and deserve to be carefully kept. This selection, what to keep and what to go away from, is personal. It is different for each and every one of us. What you decide to keep and what you decide to let down are truly personal decisions.

The outcome of these steps is a nice path towards the creation of artistic pictures that are unique to you.

Author: charlesdieci

Engineer, writer, traveller, photographer

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