Sunday, March 21, 2010

On being a generalist

click photo to enlarge
One of the advantages of not specialising in any particular type of photography is that images come your way much more frequently than they otherwise might. People who specialise in wildlife, motorsports, landscapes, architecture and so on, have to go to different locations in search of their subjects. The hobby or profession becomes as much about travel as it does photography, and the subject assumes as much importance as the way it is captured. We "generalists" - for want of a better description - can find images in the home, the garden, the street, in fact anywhere. For us, the way we depict the subject is often as important, and frequently more important, than the subject itself.

Today's photograph is an example of this, and shows an image that can't be categorised in a defined genre, unless one sees "semi-abstract" in that way. It is a detail of a loose roll of nylon fabric that was on the floor in a dimly lit room. The subject is less important than what it offers by way of the lines, shapes and shading that the circumstances conferred on the material, and that's where my attention was focused. If you don't see anything of visual interest in those aspects of the image it won't be for you: it might appear devoid of attraction or any arresting qualities, a photograph of nothing. If, however, you have an eye for the way light (even dim, flat light) can transform and captivate the eye, then perhaps you'll see something in it.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12.8mm (60mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 400
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On