I’ve been meaning to write about shoots, concepts and approaches but the opportunity never presented itself. This is particularly difficult for me as I don’t possess the grandiloquence necessary to describe abstract thoughts effectively. I’ve never been able to look at an image and explain specifically why I like it. I simply don’t have the flair art critics do.
Still, NOT being able to do something has never stopped me in the past.
As of late, I’ve been experimenting with shooting on my iPhone. Specifically using a program which offers a square frame. Having only ever shot with 35mm format cameras, I’ve had to revisit how I approach my composition.
Interestingly enough, I originally believed a square format would restrict dynamic-ness. I thought it was dated, not very functional for todays editorial purposes and quite frankly, boring. Void space is one method I instinctively turn to for impact. This was something I didn’t feel I’d be able to accomplish without a landscape perspective. With a square image, I now find the use of void space more, not less, interesting, (Certainly not boring). A wonderful surprise!
Removing calculated composition, or precise composition increased the significance of the moment. As an image can be beautiful in it’s perfection, an image can be equally beautiful in it’s spontaneity. I’ve spent days evaluating my composition but found little time would be spent admiring the moment. Now, I find more interest in the beauty of the moment than the perfection of the image.
I’m left pondering if it’s possible to blend the two. Can one have a perfectly composed, staged, and lit image and still be beautiful in it’s spontaneity?
I don’t think so. Not really.
The beauty of the moment is, by it’s own definition, fleeting. One loses the image by taking the time to set things up. The imperfections of the moment are part of the spice that makes it so much more palatable. The smeared lipstick, the messy hair, the natural gestures, the real-ness of the image lures one in. It’s voyeuristically pleasing. On some level, we are all voyeurs. An image is far enough removed from the actual subject so we don’t feel uncomfortable staring. In fact, we stare even more from this safe position. It’s free, it’s safe and it doesn’t feel wrong, while at the same time pleasing us. I find I can’t help smile when looking at a candid shot of a girl smiling. Rarely, if ever, does a staged shot illicit the same response.
All things being told, the aesthetic of candid shots with a square frame has me smitten. I’ve been looking at acquiring a medium format camera for the purpose of shooting in this in this style with larger files. I’m hopeful to have a new camera at some point this year. I really can’t wait to start shooting with a new perspective.
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