Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The thing about the Freedom series

Sorry I got side tracked on the difficulty of working in Singapore. :(

The point of the Freedom series is that maybe we should not be asking intellectual questions only like, Was the exposure correct?, What lens should I use?, Should I chop off parts of the face?.

When we shoot, we should also ask, Man, does this do it for me? Is this the emotion I have in me coming out in the image? Does the audience get a kick out of this or what?

The other thing is that it is easier to ask the intellectual and technical stuff. It is much harder to have a grasp on living and your opinion on life, and then to get all that experience and intention in your life to come out coherently in an image. :)

Photography, easy to learn, impossible to master.


kiampa said...

I think that's why making a picture which conveys an unmistakable message yet remains open enough to alternative interpretations is such a difficult ideal to achieve. The vast majority photos I take are either too straightforward or weak due to over-ambiguity or a lack of technique (but mostly weak due to the former).

I know Singapore can be restricting in many ways, and I'm sure you know much more about the artistic aspects of that than I do. But I do think many of the cages we find ourselves trapped in are partly those of our own creation as well. humour and poking fun at authority has always been a good way to get out of that box, at least for awhile. The size of the local market for doing business here on the other hand is another issue altogether, as you've mentioned before.

I have to say that after spending four years abroad, with another year to go in the UK, I think I have as much personal freedom in these well-off western countries as I do in Singapore. I may find it harder to pursue what I am interested in doing back home, but on the other hand being one of the relatively few specialists in my area of study will make it easier in some ways to set up a niche for myself. Or maybe I am being overly optimistic. :)

As you can guess by now I am actually looking forward to coming back to Singapore, but the main reasons are family commitments...and for me there is a form of freedom now associated with fulfilling your duties to your close ones. I've been away for so long that I need to be back for at least a few years to consolidate everything I've come to appreciate in recent times.

Heng said...

I know quite well that freedom is a frame of mind. However, it also takes effort to be in the right frame of mind to shoot. It gets hard to get into the correct frame of mind when a multitude of red tape and social turbulence takes up your energy and time.

Singapore is not an impossible place to work creatively in. It is just difficult if you have to make a living here while being creative. There are a lot of compromises. I would also say that being on holiday in Singapore makes it easier than doing photography for a living in Singapore.