September 27, 2010

Capturing the elusive spirit

Since I believe there is always room for improvement in your craft, I like to consult some knowledgeable people before I begin a new project. By this I mean that I take an immense amount of reading material out from the library.
I did this before I started a blog, and I did this before I tried taking photos of three-dimensional object (namely, my sculptures). While blogging depends mainly on your ability to describe things that interest you in a colourful way, taking photos requires a real sacrifice. It’s not even about having a big, fancy camera, or the ability to make good use of Photoshop. It’s about the object you’re photographing, and it’s about practicing.

It feels to me like the objects resist being photographed. They don’t exactly move, or make silly faces. It’s something more subtle. For example, I finished the photoshoot with my dog sculpture pretty quickly, and I am very satisfied with it, but the birds just wouldn’t come out right. The magic isn’t there. From the photos, you can’t really see that the birds are a little bit like totem animals. You can’t see that they are cheerful. You can’t see anything essential, despite the amount of effort it took me, hanging over them from various angles. It didn’t matter how much I’ve experimented with the lighting. The birds just look so ordinary on the photos. Or maybe that’s just the way I see it.

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