Monday, December 10, 2012

Photography's New Aesthetic Part 2

Both photos c. 2012 by Greg Sullivan, Used with permission

No sooner had I entered the topic of Photography perhaps struggling to find a new place in the world's now extremely busy and democratic place of visual art, when an old friend of mine, Greg posted a whole new album of really great work on Facebook. I asked his permission to use some of his recent pictures to continue on this topic. It was difficult for me to choose just a couple, believe me!

I think Greg is evolving his work into some kind of "new classicism". I wouldn't really call it Neo-Classicism, because that's been used before, probably far more than enough. Greg - I do hope you comment here to correct me if need be. I see any kind of "classicism" whether old, new or whatever, as being work that immediately takes one's breath away, and then keeps you looking and going back for more mainly because of it's well trained competency and great execution. As with a classic painting, a classic photo will possess a sense of the artist really knowing his stuff. I don't know how else to state it. It comes right down to how Greg here knows exactly  what he wants to do, and in a very brief moment of time, he is able to pull it off, because he knows what his "brushes and canvas" can do!

In the last post, I was discussing Lomography as something I'm quite drawn to in our new world of democratic photography as "a kind of "Neo-Romanticism"... in which some kind of action, preferably human action is contained in the picture, and the more impromptu and un-posed this aspect of "happening", the better." But Lomography can never be "classicism" - it deliberately ignores classic technique and replaces it with a technique of it's own. And yet, we see that Greg's photos are also alive with action -both of these pictures have an amazing freeze capture of a gull in flight, not to mention the dynamic of waves crashing against a grounded fishing boat.

As for my own work, here's the way I like to describe it - "My aesthetic has always been around light and texture as being all important - not really caring about distracting objects, awkward composition or things like that. For me, 95% of the time conditions are not right for taking pictures, so I don't bother. I wait for clouds, or atmosphere etc. that makes my mundane small town Canada surroundings interesting, and then I choose my weapon and head out to take some pictures". Right now, I'm wanting to expand on this. As I've said before, I've done the same thing many times over, and now I need to find a new way to explore my surroundings. My problem at the moment is that I don't know whether to head towards Lomography, classicism, or something else. For me to move onward, I'm, going to need to study - whether formally or informally I'm not sure of that either. I'm just glad I know people like Greg who can keep me searching in the right direction.

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