Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

Photo Sketches

Posted in art, awareness, photography, technique by Jason Gray on April 14, 2013

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As photographic artists, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves to create fully resolved works. There are a lot of reasons for this, but mostly it is do to the medium’s reliance on reality (ie. the photographer is merely a recorder, the photographer does not create, etc.). The need to prove that what we are offering as artists is the result of an intensive process, involving both thought and skill, reduces our output. It inhibits us from picking up a camera and photographing something “cool”.

That said, I think that “sketching” with your camera, or going out into the world as a photographer with no preconceived notion of what you will photograph, offers tremendous insight to the artist, and is as important of an activity as sketching in drawing. Not to mention, staying active with the camera keeps it out of your way when you really want to use it (isn’t when the camera disappears the greatest true measure of technical proficiency for a photographer?). Personally, I do this mostly through taking pictures of my family/son, or by staying active with Photo Flood Saint Louis.

Although, in a class recently, I had the opportunity to take part in an exercise that illustrated this principle well. For it, each student was asked to bring numerous “artifacts” to school; the objects could be personal, found, or purchased directly for the assignment. Once gathered, each student rifled through all of the material and selected pieces that began a dialogue with each other. These objects were then arranged on a pedestal or put in an environment, and photographed. The pictures in this post represent my contributions. Nothing serious to present here, but it sure was fun and it got me thinking creatively.

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