Saturday, March 18, 2006

In praise of the organic

What is a perfectly clean sheet of paper? What is a perfect life without any challenges? What is the perfect woman's physique? Boring, that's what it is.

I think that sometimes we get so obsessed with perfection that we overdo it. Sometimes we try so hard to frame an image perfectly that it looks contrived, unspontaneous and lifeless. And although I complain about it, I must admit that when I am tired, or think too much about a shot, I do it too. Sometimes people get obsessed with their physical looks and enhance their looks, they turn out looking like they came out of a plastic mold.

I remember Natasha Kinski, the daughter of Klaus Kinski, who has a little cut on her upper lip. Otherwise she is absolutely beautiful. But you know what, that little imperfection makes her even more beautiful to me, there is an opposition there, a comparison of ideas that highlights what's right. Forget Pamela Anderson, her boobies will probably still around by the time the rest of her natural body has decomposed for years. Pamela may be someone's ideal of perfect, but being only human, I can't deal with that.

I hear that Muslim carpet makers always leave an imperfection in their carpets, because only Allah is perfect. I want to be as good as I can, in a natural way, not more perfect. In my images, I like natural texture. Humans are 'perfect' as they are. They are perfect in god's eyes. Perfection in human eyes can be warped and is probably just plain wrong.

Digital capture can be too perfect. Glossy paper can be too perfect. I add back 'imperfect' texture to my photographs, bring out the freckles and print to textured art paper.

As an addendum, do you notice how many photographers love taking pictures of things in decay like rusted abandoned cars and discoloured walls? Why do you think that is so? Why is it not so that all photographers are only obsessed with the newest, glossiest cars out of the factory? Food for thought.

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