Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A photographic truism

click photo to enlarge
It's a truism that it's possible to take a good photograph of a bad subject. In fact, as I've said elsewhere in this blog, many of the best photographs work despite, not because of, their subject matter. Certainly there are those who disagree with this proposition, maintaining that the subject is of paramount importance in all photographs. It's my belief that, whilst this is true where photography serves a wider need, in those instances where the photograph itself is the only goal, where it serves only itself, the subject matters less than everything else about the image.

Today's photograph, to an extent, illustrates this point in an oblique way. Firstly let me state that I don't consider it a particularly good shot. However, it does illustrate a subject (the "Rock Around the Fleet" art installation) that, in an earlier blog post, I described as WYSIATI: I don't think it amounts to much. So why did I photograph it again and post it here? Well, the colours are what drew me to take this shot - the green of the reflective water, the blue of the sky and the buff stonework, brown brick and orange pantiles of the old buildings. But all of that wouldn't have prompted this photograph without those quirky points of day-glow pink introduced by the "art installation". So, it was the colours that caused this photograph, including the lurid hues of a weak art installation. Here, the subject doesn't really matter but its colours do.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 18mm (36mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On