Beauty begs to be captured

This weekend the Cathay Camera Club had its yearly exhibition at the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. I could submit three of my pictures and got some good remarks from different visitors as well as from club members. Sunday has been the last day and we collected our images.

As I wondered what to do on Sunday afternoon, I just walked around and mused about exhibitions, projects and how to approach them. Funny enough one of my projects is still, until December, to take a photo a day with my iPhone and the hipstamatic app. I have another ongoing project but didn’t get the pictures I wanted up to now. So I decided to wander along Kennedy Town and Sheung Wan area, listening to a podcast about “How to approach doing projects”.

In this podcast a lot of things are explained – how you should do it, how to define your project, how to choose your project and so on. In the last podcast nevertheless there is one phrase the author got from a listener “Beauty begs to be captured”. The main issue in this regard is that if you see something beautiful you should capture it and it will fall in place in some kind in some project.

It is very true. My projects might be many and various but if I see something beautiful I will capture it and work it into some project on my way.  I like to use many sources of artistic inspiration, from fellow photographers to advertisements to painters. So, as I am a photographer who uses a digital camera, where, by its very nature, each images the camera records, possesses a wealth of ‘potential’ that can be tapped into and ‘cultivated’ later. This potential for ‘inspired cultivation’ is something which could be achieved as well with film exposure in a traditional darkroom and is done nowadays with software programs. The work of many photographers from the late 19th and early 20th century, which used as well different processes of reproduction eg.; photogravure, gum bichromate, gum platinum, bromoil, oil, and carbon printing, etc., produced some of the most remarkable, beautiful, and evocative photographs is and might be an inspiration not only for me. They are a regular source of admiration and inspiration.

If I’m coming up to a beautiful scene and can use this moment of opportunity to the utmost, my artistic side is satisfied. When inspiration hits, you must respond. But it is not enough to just release the shutter and record what is in front of the camera in a basic way. What I attempt to add is the living, breathing, spirit of that special moment and view, as I recall it – and that is the hard part and doesn’t work every time.

I want a strong instinctive reaction to be unavoidable, (goose-bumps would not be inappropriate!), giving the viewer no choice but to surrender and be struck by the totality, truth, force and/or, ultimately, beauty , abhorrence or any other feeling of the image.

Nevertheless, back to my wandering -  I rounded a corner and found some other photographers at work. I asked permission to get as well one or two shots. Just thinking of the podcast and the phrase:



Street scenes