Photographic style it is an ongoing, ever-evolving process, influenced by many factors such as exposure to other photographer’s works. For new photographers, it is important to identify this during the early stages, since coming across other photographers’ images would also have influenced the way they relate to certain kind of photography and their liking for these images may change over time.
I have uncovered a fascination in finding beauty in the ordinary, an appreciation in surveying the human interaction within the landscape environment and searching for a unique perspective on the everyday life. Though predominantly a pictorialist, I have found to develop an inclination towards the style of classical realism, a general preference for order, beauty, harmony and completeness. I love how the play on lights and the use of vibrant colours can be incorporated into the image, depending on the context of the story I am telling.
EXAMPLES OF TECHNIQUES THAT INTERESTS ME
With the advancement of camera technologies and the provision of heuristic image editing tools, image manipulation has never become so widespread such that when a new technique of digital photography is discovered, it becomes a spectacle, a focal point for people wanting to know how it is done. This is common in many camera magazines, in the sense that it entices its audience by showing the final result of that ‘advance’ technique and explaining its procedures step by step; persuading would-be buyers to make their purchase. Hence I would think coming from a technical standpoint is another way of determining my favourite images.
Exposure Blending (HDR)
Single Frame Time-lapse Photo
PHOTOGRAPHIC THEMES THAT INTERESTS ME
#Cityscape #Journalism #Landscape #Nature #Sunset #People #Events #Travel #Colours #Cinematic
IMAGES FROM PAST PHOTO-COMPETITION WINNERS
In this age of digital photography, photographers can now upload their images to photo sharing websites to show their best works to the world. These photo images could well be an entry for photo competitions. And many photo competitions would require participants to submit online, and these winning entries could also be viewed online. Subsequently, after the competition, these winning entries would be compiled into the form of books and prints.
Over the years, there are many books that curate these works and of many different themes and genres. Some of these books offer the photographers’ perspective, sometimes accompanied by the author’s analysis of why these photographs are successful. Hence I think winning images of past photo-competitions could well be a source of influence to learn from. Some of the well-known photo competitions that became my source of inspiration include:
– Singapore Young Photographers Awards (SYPA),
– Singapore Canon Photo Marathon
– World Press Photo competition,
– Sony World Photo Competition,
– National Geographic photo contests, etc.
IDENTIFYING DIFFERENT APPROACHES
There are too many inspiring images produced by great photographers out there. Where do I make my starting point? How do select the right images? I think there are quite few different approaches I can go about to decide the images that influence my photographic practices, or the images that I admire and interest me.
1) Inspiring photographers that inspire me?
2) Images that influences my photographic style?
3) Photographic / Camera techniques?
4) Images from Past photo-competition winners?
5) Photographic Themes?
6) Images on First impression?
INSPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS INFLUENCING MY PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE
Favourite Photographer VS Favourite photo:
Perhaps by starting from a list of prolific photographers I admire, I could pick out from their works and narrow down the list of images that I think would help me to interpret their styles and improve in my own photography works. I think recognising the photographer’s cause in their practices and their consistency in their body of work is where I should begin my exploration.
STEVE MCCURRY [ Photojournalism ]
WHY? In 2004, I came across a documentary about the search of the Afghan Girl, an iconic image which first got me interested to read up about his works. I was fifteen years then, still in secondary education. As I discover more of his works, his stories behind compelling images, and why he does it; I realized Steve McCurry’s photography is driven by his love of travel and discovering people’s culture. His photojournalistic images are so powerful, that they have impacted the world.
SEBASTIAO SALGADO [ Photojournalism ]
WHY? Three visits to the Genesis photo exhibition and it still wasn’t enough for me. Each visit I had learnt a lot from the Brazilian photographer’s breath-taking works and his cause. What struck me most was the level of attention to aesthetic elements to his images is truly astounding; texture and patterns, layered with emotions. I found this to be consistent in each of his dramatic and expressive black and white images.
ANSEL ADAMS [ Landscape ]
WHY: The works of Sebastiao Saldago had prompted me to re-learn the works of Ansel Adams, whom I regard as one of the masters of early landscape photography. His dedication and experiences in capturing the landscape has left me captivated and wanting to understand what makes his images work. As I had first started with the love for landscape photography; his idea of pre-visualisation and his preference of black and white images had me re-look at my own practices in photography.
OLIVIERO TOSCANI [ Commercial ]
WHY? Oliviero Toscani was a photographer I came across while reading a book by Liz Wells. Learning the case of Benetton had me realized how much impact an image could make in the commercial advertising world and to what extent an image becomes unacceptable and controversial. From this case I admire Toscani for his daring concepts, challenging the limits of photography in the commercial world by employing thought-provocative imagery.
SERGE RAMELLI [ Landscape ]
WHY? Serge Ramelli is a French photographer well known for his vivid landscape post-processing and Lightroom tutorials. He uses video podcasts to share his photographic workflow and digital editing techniques. What I like about his style was his cinematic approach to his photography and the way he embraces technology to dramatize his landscape images.
AARON NACE [ Conceptual ]
WHY? I would think Aaron Nace as a conceptual photographer who inspires the next generation of creative individuals with his vast knowledge of various photography and photo manipulation techniques. I have learnt a lot from his way of conceptualizing an image and his approach in using technology to realize his concepts, often meticulous in planning stages. The advice of his photo analysis he gives to the community, usually room for improvement.