So I listen to the LPV show podcast, which is just an incredible resource for learning. Not technical learning, but much more about formal, project-oriented, conceptual learning. Which, I think with photography, is much harder than the technical side of things (at least for me).
Recently a photographer called Elle Perez was featured, and one thing they talked about what a list of thoughts she wrote after she critiqued her students' photographs (she teaches at an undergrad level, IIRC). I've found delving into this list insanely thought provoking and clarifying, so I want to share:
- Subject: What the photograph is ‘of’ in the physical world.
- Form: Method of description used, physical materials, and manipulation by the artist
- Content: Conversations and ideas made present by the interaction of the subject and the formal strategies.
- Pointing your camera at something does not make a photograph, though it can.
- Photographic Strategies.
- Intensive looking leads to successful seeing.
- What do you want to look at with your camera?
- What you want to look at is not what you want to think about.
- Your intellectual life feeds your artwork. But intellectualism without formal commitment and investigation does not make good art.
- Successful photographs raise philosophical questions through formal decisions and strategies.
- Directions not directives.
- Personal investment. Technical Investment. Time Investment.
- Pictures that reward sustained looking are the most successful kind.
- State the obvious.
- During critique, at first limit your verbal response to describing and interrogating the formal qualities of the work.
- Your content relates to your subject matter through form.
- Form. Form!
- Image, Object
- Photographs are objects.
- Your idiosyncrasies are the only thing you truly have, and the only thing that will ever save you.
- What are the conditions under which you are most productive?
- How do you solve a problem?
- Form and Content.
- Formal strategies of investigation lead to production of content.
- Subject matter is not Content.
- Know what decisions you made and own your decisions.
- Play is exploration that is necessary for making, and setting up the parameters for play should be a part of any undertaking.
- Technique is a matter of personal preference, but technique should have a considered logic.
- Sustained investigation, Sustained looking, Sustained thinking.
- Disagree with me. Talk back.
- Pictures are not people. Pictures are not reality. Pictures are not performances. Pictures are Pictures.
- What is reality?
- Pictures can go on a wall, Pictures can go on screens, Pictures are everywhere. Where are pictures?
- Photography describes surfaces.
- What can a photograph do?
- Where is the boundary of photography? How can you find and explore that space?
If you want to read for yourself, just scroll down here:
Some of these really stand out to me, others I'm not sure I understand, others don't seem to say much, but as a whole it's one of the most concise descriptions of concepts within photography that I've found.
If anyone finds anything else like this (in any form) shoot me a link, ya?