Sunday, November 9, 2008

About the philosophy of art and how to take a photograph

I would like to relate this post to my earlier post about “left brained thinking vs. right brained thinking”. I have started to associate left-brained thinking with the sciences and right-brained thinking with the arts.

Right brained thinking as I have already mentioned is the set of mental faculty that are as follows: “Creativity, Imagination and Intuition”. I find that these map perfectly onto the arts such as poetry, literature, photography, painting, music, etc.

All of these then give ideas that can be developed by the sciences and brought into the practical world.

I will elaborate this concept a little further by walking you through the process of taking a photograph.

So how do you take a good photograph?
One of the ways is this:
1. You develop an idea
2. ‘Look’ for a physical manifestation of that idea
3. Use the rules of photography to capture that manifestation as you want it

Let’s take an example. Suppose you want to take a photograph that documents ‘the way back from work’. You would have to develop an idea around this i.e. what you feel about ‘the way back from work’. Once developed there would be a number of ‘physical manifestations’ that you would come across on your way home. The one that clicks (you can use your intuition and wait for the right feeling to ‘find’ the right ‘physical manifestation’) you can record with your instrument, such as a mobile phone or a digital camera.

Let’s take another example and develop this: I recently wanted to photograph a mother and her daughter. To do this one of the ideas I developed was this: “A mother looking at her daughter and wondering what a gift from God the daughter was! Also the mother seems to be in anticipation of the journey the two will have together for the next many years”. After developing this idea the ‘physical manifestation’ of this idea I created was as follows: The baby daughter resting on a table on a thick blanket looking from one corner of a diagonal to the opposite diagonal where her eyes meet those of her mother who has her head tilted to one side resting it with her hand in a posture where she seems to be in thought wearing an expression of delight and anticipation. Click!

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