Innocent Raptures or Images With Lasting Value?
I’m laughing so hard I can hardly type! Celebrating this comic genius of Angela Liao, 20px passed to me earlier today on Twitter.
What a wonderful way to illustrate what not to bother shooting!
And then again… how are modern photographers to know which of our “creative impulses” is just another cliche and which has - or could have - lasting value as art?
Sometimes we just have to make the shots. Sometimes we have to spend 30 minutes to 3 hours apping a shot and then share it…before we can tell what’s actually going on.
Are we celebrating the innocence of the child mind that sees all, knows nothing, and loves everything about Life? Or are we making art?
For me, the strongest value of the social sharing part of iPhoneography is giving and receiving thoughtful, heartfelt feedback from friends who are willing (or not…) to tell us the truth about their experience of our images.
If we’re lucky, some of our friends are like our Mommies who just love us, no matter what. They send us happy faces and roses and clapping hand icons and shove every one of our muddy weed bouquets into vases and put them on the dining room table.
If we’re also using social media to sharpen perception and improve our skills as artists, hopefully we’re also cultivating friends who are artists - and willing to ignore the weeds while sharing honestly about their experience of the other images.
Sometimes it takes an hour or two after shooting before the brain can use the eyes to run through the Camera Roll and actually see which shots have lasting potential for artwork and which have already dried up in the intervening minutes. That’s just a physiological fact.
On my Afternoon Delights, I’m often aware of wandering, iPhone camera in hand, like a child in a field of flowering weeds. Remember your childhood rapture with every dandelion? Remember rushing home clutching a wad of droopy stems, bursting with love, and shoving the whole muddy mess into your Mother’s hands?
Part of the utter delight of mobile photography is that the phone camera has tons of space for holding (and sharing) both our innocent raptures and our hearts’ deepest responses to our life experiences.
Part of the utter tedium of scrolling through our friends’ posts on image-sharing social media sites can be clearing the mud and dried weeds off the table to make enough space to fully enjoy the images that have lasting value. The art.
I just love the process. All of it. Love and human creativity are more beautiful than anything we can possibly make using them.