Blog Author Richard Newman
Every once in awhile you get ahold of some thought, or some notion, which you believe has some magic within, but you’re not sure exactly what it is. And, your heart just won’t let it go. I’m not making any apologies for my last blog on what do we (“photographers”) should call ourselves in this new age of imaging. So, just like last month, I’m seeking the right word to describe myself and my friends who make pictures.
Every 2 years in Cologne, (Koln) Germany, they hold a huge, international exposition called Photokina. I was there 3 times back in the day, and WOW, what an experience. It consisted of over 9 buildings on acres of land across the Rhine River from old Koln, and, in its heyday, it lasted for weeks. Kodak’s exhibit alone took up an entire building that was the size of a “normal” American convention hall. Things have changed. In the early days, before the Internet, trade shows of this type and magnitude were the only way to see the latest gear and rub shoulders with the industry’s brightest thinkers and leaders (along with the industry’s clowns and jokers). Photokina was held again in September of this year, and I am so grateful not to have gone!
Now to the point: Since sharing our images has been an important part of what we (“photographers”) have always done, Photokina represented a wonderful opportunity to share. I still remember seeing 2 images that really made me think. One image was made from a high vantage point, like a hotel room or high-rise restaurant. In extreme detail, this photograph showed almost everything! I think when I blew it up on my computer, I could see people walking a thousand yards away; one guy even had his hand in his pocket. Man, did this thing ever have detail, and the exposure was perfect, with everything that makes up an ideal histogram on a charge-coupled device. The grays in the sky were smooth and expressive, the water from the river looked mecurious and real. But, the picture left me flat. It didn’t touch my soul.
The second picture was made on a phone with a filter applied. It was a moody, dreamy shot made at night in the fog with a cathedral in the background and the upper radius of a bridge in the top part of the image. I just loved it! It made me feel like I was there, in Europe, walking at night. When I blew this one up on my computer, the detail was very acceptable and the emotion and self-expression was off the charts! WOW, what an image. It said it all to me.
So, my conclusion? To me, the image made with the phone had stopping power. It made me look, think, dream and remember. Anybody know what to call this person who created it? I welcome your comments—just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter is coming . . .