With the advent of digital and the proliferation of social media photography has become a creative tool that virtually everyone can engage with. Countless millions of images are shared around the planet every day and photos have transitioned from envelopes of 36 enprints collected from the local chemists shop into a visual language freely shared and understood by millions within seconds of their creation.
With this explosion of possibilities comes the inevitable dilution of perceived value. What was once the domain of the enthusiast has now become a mind numbing flood of quickly consumed ‘snaps’ of life. Everything is on the record somewhere. If it exists you’ll probably be able to find a photo of it.
The very act of taking a photo has become mainstream and it no longer takes much thought or consideration to create an image which will get Facebook likes or Instagram hearts. Online courses offer failsafe formula to take photos with precisely that intention – the harvesting of pats on the back from a community of virtual friends.
The Concept of Deep Photography
With this in mind I offer you the concept of ‘Deep Photography’. Yes, I made it up, and maybe am not the first. However I would like to plant that phrase into your mind as an option to ‘shallow photography’. For me deep photography evokes emotion, conveys a message, tells a story, moves to action and is not easily forgotten. Deep photographs don’t follow the crowd, they don’t please everyone and they certainly don’t come with a ‘painting by numbers’ approach.
Deep photography needs a connection to exist between us and our subject, we need to let our Muse weave our heartstrings into our compositions and to wrap flesh and blood around the bones of our vision. It’s not all about the f-stop, the iso and the focal length. Sure those technicalities are in the cauldron where we mix our magic, however what is most important is the spirit of things, that indefinable essence that reaches out from the photo and lodges deep into our inner self. We need to honour our subject with our time and curiosity, only then will we deepen into the craft.
Deep photography makes a difference both to us as the creators and to us the viewers. We can deepen into life by deepening into our creative photography. Perhaps it’s one possible antidote to the seconds long attention span culture that is ravaging society today.
Deep Photography is core to my Call of The Muse journey and I look forward to seeing just how deep this ocean is.