3 + 1 SINGLE TRUTH THAT WILL HELP YOU DEVELOP A PHOTOGRAPHIC VISION
That November evening I discovered photography, and for 7 years it has remained for me an incomprehensible magic of forms and emotions.
Not a single book, not a single textbook, not a single beautiful picture could reveal the whole meaning to me, like one person.
My first photography teacher. The first, because there are two more people who have influenced me a lot, but I consider him the main one. This is the back I’m hiding behind. The impressions that I remember when I feel lonely and my hands fall … This is the smell of the large black and white prints of his photos, which he showed when he met. And an old TV on which we watched my first photographic attempts, until he had a computer.
My teacher is Michael Blonstein. He is a student of Alexander Iosifovich Lapin, the most famous photo researcher in Russia. Selections of his Soviet photos scattered on the Internet. Take a look at ADME.ru – and there you will find his name.
Very sociable, he charges with his love for photography everyone who comes to him. 🙂 And he is categorical and direct. For this bluntness, many do not like him. But then, when he honestly criticizes my photos, it brings me more benefit than 100 accolades.
We have known each other for 7 years. Over the years I learned from him that the most important thing in photography is to be me. Below I will share three truths that have come to my teacher from his star friends, the classics of unofficial Soviet photography. Of course, they will not replace communication with him. But, I hope, they will charge you with motivation to search for your own way.
1. Love the photo in yourself, not yourself in the photo. This phrase is very multifaceted and suits the photographer of any level. It will help the beginner not to get upset when his portraits-like-to-passport, flowers and cats are criticized. For an amateur, it will help not to be too proud of how cool he has mastered the techniques of composition and work with light, but to move on. She will help the professional to find new ways to realize her ideas about life, and not get hung up on what he has already mastered.
Every time you are too clinging to what you have already taken, remember this phrase. If you love a photo in yourself, and not yourself in a photo, you will never stop there.
Write yourself this phrase, and maybe in five years you will put a completely different meaning in it than now.
2. I am a photo lover. I am a lover of photography because I love to photograph. Before you understand the meaning of this phrase, I will tell you a story from my teacher.
Once he attended a meeting of famous Soviet photographers, where his teacher A.I. Lapin, as well as a classic of the Soviet documentary photography – Vladimir Semin. Everyone at this meeting tried to embellish their status by naming all possible titles and victories. When the turn came to Vladimir Semin, he got up and introduced himself. Do you think he listed the whole list of his numerous awards? Not. He said very directly and briefly: “Vladimir Semin. Photographer”.
This truth follows from the previous one. And it will help you remember that you should not get too hung up on statuses.
3. Photography is an attitude. On the individual style create long correspondence on the forums and ask in an interview. They are looking for him all the time, he is in the head of every photographer who has decided to go beyond the limits of amateur photographs on tourist trips and in the family circle.
But this truth speaks about how to develop your style, more than any other. You can never jump above your own head and become a genius in a week. But you can be yourself just expressing your attitude towards what you are photographing. If you shot a frame that others would like, but you don’t like it yourself, if this frame contradicts your values - do not publish it.
There may be gigabytes of impersonal frames on your disk. But only those shots have value for you, as a photographer, that express your attitude towards what you photographed. Looking at the photo, ask yourself – how do you feel about what you took? Did you leave this photo as a tribute to photographic tricks, or did you put some sense into it?