September 11, 2016

The Story Behind a Picture

For these past few years, blogging activity had influenced me with something I never interested in before. Photography. Back then, it is one of the reason why I started blogging because I need to practice as I got photography class in college. I used to think that photography is all about high end and expensive gear that would bring your photography into another level. Although I learned all the basic of photography and how to properly capture photos with professional cameras in college but since I have zero interest in it so I never put any effort in learning. With all due respect, back then I used to think that all photographers are merely people who are standing behind the the camera gears.  

By the time I pursue my passion in blogging, I started to acknowledge that beautiful image is another important aspect besides my writings. As someone who was taking major in graphic design, I’ve always been told about how visuals could greatly impact the audience.  Therefore, I started to grow my interest in photography and keep practicing from the day onwards.

Few days ago, I was having my daily reads on Qubicle and stumbled on an interesting article regarding photography, Project Mercury written by Agan Harahap. The author was writing that photography is about how the photographers portray their opinion and told stories in photographs. Here are some footage from the article.

Sebuah foto dipercaya sebagai penampilan obyektif dari dunia, seakan si fotografer hanya membidik dan memencet tombol dari kamera. Dalam konteks ini, kalimat ‘kamera tidak akan berdusta’ menjadi sangat diyakini. Namun dalam kenyataannya, sebuah foto tidak akan pernah bersifat objektif. Fotografer adalah individu yang mempunyai opini, penilaian, kepercayaan, dan lainnya sehingga apa yang dia bidik dan kapan dia memencet tombolnya membawa kadar subjektivitasnya sendiri.
A photograph is known as an objective view of the world, as if the photographers only spot and shots. In this case, the terms of 'camera will not lie' become widely accepted. Apparently, a photograph will never be totally objective. Photographer are people who have their own opinion, beliefs, etc therefore what they shots and when they decided to press on the shutters will bring their own subjectivity. 

This article slaps me right in my face. I was once thinking the same!

When I decided to take photography seriously, I started to figure out about how to take great picture and ended up on a certain formulas. Photography does involve some kind of math thing. The amount of light, shutter speed, and aperture. Right settings, right gears, and the right objects. That's what I thought but again it wasn't. I still couldn’t understand what makes the difference between my snaps and all those photographer snaps. One day, one of my office colleagues , who are a photographer, told me that each photographer takes a long journey to portray their own style in their pictures. I was actually kinda confused because I think each photographers will always try to produce the best images they could snaps.

Out of my curiosity to learn from the pros, I started looking on some famous photographers work and somehow I could draw the lines between their works. Each of their shots is always telling some stories in different manner. There are some who speaks in a bolder way and there are others who speaks in a very subtle way.  There is no exact rules or measurement of good and bad. It is also take them some time to reach a certain level which define their style and qualify them as a photographer. A good photographer will always know how to communicate their message with their own style in the shots. That’s why people said that ‘A picture worth more than thousands words’. Well it is seriously no joke at all.

This article reminds me of a very good insights about photography. It is not only about the gears. It is not only about the skills or talents. It is not only about the right formulas. It is about what do you want to convey in your pictures.  For those who just started your journey in photography, I believe it is important to learn about all the basic but keep in your mind too about what do you wanna tell people in your pictures. I know this is not something that you could learn in a night, but I think it is one of the interesting part in learning process which is the journey itself. Although some people might see our pictures as the end results, in fact there will always be a valuable story behind the picture itself. A story that we created through our own opinion, experience, and style.

If you're keen into learning something new, I believe that reading is one of the best way you should get used to. I know reading could be pretty boring but perhaps you could start from a topic that interest you the most. Lately I enjoyed having my daily readings on Qubicle as they have a wide range of interesting article. For those who are too lazy to read,  some of articles on Qubicle also feature some videos so you might wanna check them out.

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