“In photography, as in all visual arts, we have to distinguish between the natural design we observe and the personal design we create – by eliminating, changing, abstracting and arranging the elements of our composition. Painstakingly copying and re-creating the natural observation is mindless” – Harvey Lloyd (Hello, Mr. Bateman!)
Klaus Rossler © copyright 2003-2013
As I’m going through last year’s material attempting the latest back-up, I found these images and they are a good example of traditional landscape and ex- or impressionistic interpretation.
Yes – all photography is an interpretation, and even the most realistic approach does not copy what the eye sees – and it couldn’t – and it shouldn’t. What the individual eye sees and what the individual brain perceives is another step away from any common reality. The final result, the “Mental Image”, is the result of alteration and perception by the brain … aka YOU – based on your memories, upbringing, experiences, gender, education, etc. etc. … your personality. You are your brain – or your brain is “You” (more on that next time)
But there is clearly a difference between the two groups of images here. It has to be mentioned that all, even the 3 realistic images (1, 3, 5), have non-realistic features, like long exposures, multi-exposures or the use of a ND-graduated filter. Yet 2, 4, 6 clearly depart even more, by additionally simplifying and minimalizing. A different approach, not just by technical trickery, but also through deliberate abstraction. It’s the difference that could place 1, 3, 5 , lets say, in National Geographic or in a calendar, while 2, 4, 6 could rather be imagined in an exhibition at a gallery, on a more artistic level.
And then there is not just the difference between the two groups or approaches, but also between each one. I found approximately 30 shots of that driftwood-stump, in various light and weather conditions, angles and times of the day (or night-with bears around :-)).
An additional aspect is of course the mind of the viewer – another variable of perception and interpretation. At the end there is nothing much to say, considering the countless variables of individual perception – left to be unexplained with the insufficiency and incompetence of words and language.
Klaus Rossler © copyright
your comments are, as always, appreciated
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