Visual Integrity

The photography world is absolutely flooded with products and information promising short cuts that will miraculously turn you into Annie Liebovitz / Martin Parr / Gregory Crewdson. 99.9% of the information about photography on the internet seems to be about technology (which lens is .001% better?) or photographic technique. Now, having the right tools for the job is important. Not many wildlife photographers get by with a wide angle lens on a 5″x4″ camera. And technique is important too. Having all the gear but not knowing how to use it to achieve the desired artistic outcome isn’t going to help.

But there’s something more important than equipment and technique, something which equipment and technique are supposed to be subservient to and dependent upon. That something is personal vision – the ability to refine the way you see until it becomes uniquely and distinctly your vision.

This blog isn’t going to be getting into equipment or technique too much, everything you could ever wish to know about both already exists within easy access of most people.

This video is a talk by Selina Maitreya on developing your unique personal vision. I highly recommend her book How to Succeed in Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant (US), here for UK.

For a lesson in visual integrity, take a look at the Instagram page of portrait photographer Martin Schoeller. Even his avatar is in the same style! 🙂

Nadav Kander – Juice

While we’re on the subject of Nadav Kander, I’ve been very much enjoying this talk he gave in London in 2016. Knowing what your artistic reference points are is essential for developing your creative practice. Seeing someone with a highly developed artistic practice give a rundown of their own reference points is an excellent help in getting you to think about your own references. Enjoy!

Henri Cartier-Bresson talking with Charlie Rose

The Magnum photographer Constantine Manos once said:

It is easy to take good pictures, difficult to take very good pictures, and almost impossible to take great pictures.

By that reckoning Henri Cartier-Bresson is the greatest photographer of the 20th century – who else has truly great photographs falling out of their closet?  And if you’re a photographer one of the ways you become a better photographer and come to understand your artistic practice in deeper ways is to hang out with other artists, preferably artists who are ahead of you. And Henri C-B is ahead of everyone. So seeing as Henri died in 2004 the best I can do is refer you to this interview.