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Philosophy & Photography: Attaining Freedom

"This is the highest wisdom that I own: freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German poet and dramatist)

Leopold and Mobutu – Guy Tillim. Photo from Agence Vu

Last night, while I was making count of imaginary sheep with the intention of falling asleep, a question came to mind: Aren’t the pics taken unposed the best ones? This made me think about the concept of freedom. Since man is capable of thinking he has always set himlself the task of getting freedom. If we look back, man in history has drawn countless paths to freedom. He did it through wars, sowing death. But he also made it through art, encouraging reflection. Well, in my first lomoblog entry I want to invite you to reflection one way to reach freedom through art. Specifically through photographic art.

The Importance Of The Concept

Everybody knows there are many ways to take pictures. Once somebody said: “Do you know what a camera is? A mirror with memory.” Perhaps for this reason there a lot of people who take photos to immortalize the present so that the future doesn’t erase the past In my opinion this is good because I think the memory is one of necessary things not to give up if we are to reach our goal. The more concepts you understand and keep in your mind, the easier it will be to be involved in the fight. Fight. Yes. Because the end of the road to freedom is full of battles that, one by one, we must overcome.

So my advice is that you try to take pictures that have an initial concept. Take as long as you need if you don’t find the concept at the begining. It may take time to understand the concept of your pictures. Perhaps it will change over time. But the most important thing here is that a concept exists.

The Importance Of Context

The creation is another weapon we can use to get rid of ties when taking pictures. Ouka Leele said “I’m not a photographer of the type that go with the camera looking for a particular scene, although sometimes I have found them. Normally, I start from an idea and I create my own stage.” If we’d speak about literature, the stage would correspond to that called context. As Ouka Leele says, it’s common for the context to be given. But there will be times when we need to build it ourselves to get better results. So do not be afraid spend the time you need until the framing is perfect. Sometimes just add/remove items on stage or just move them around. You can give the objects/subjects photographed another meaning and get stronger concepts. Let your imagination run!

The Importance Of The Action

For me, photographing action is one of the most pleasurable that exists. I love those moments where you just go with instincts and you forget the technique. And I love it when you feel your heart speeds up or when you identify that feeling of adrenaline. It is this action that gives free rein to materialize our ideas. Hence its importance. Henry Cartier-Bresson said that “To photograph is to position the head, eye and heart on the same route.” I love this quote. Think about the concept, build or choose the right context and FEEL. Use your sense to give soul to your pictures. Sometimes it’s hard to find it but if you do, it will be very rewarding to you!

written by larrymcdowell

4 comments

  1. buckshot

    buckshot

    Words of wisdom indeed!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. nioxdoe

    Very nice article Larry!
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. mapix

    mapix

    great article!!! for me a fourth thing is important: to discover something new by experiment. this must not be the opposite of having a concept, it may give the conceptual method another dimension

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. larrymcdowell

    larrymcdowell

    @mapix No objection! Great comment! Thank you! :-)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Português.