Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In the realm of senses

View from my window

In Paul's studio, music is constantly playing. He has both a normal coffee maker and an expresso machine!! My kind of guy. He takes his music and coffee on shoots if he can.

Paul also enjoys his food. He has done many collaborations with a famous Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter. Even our lunches are chosen with care.

In the book that Paul lent me, 'Once', Wenders often makes references to how places smell. How the smell of one place reminds him of another.

Just what am I trying to say with these little fragments of experience? I am saying that although the photographer's primary sensory organ are the eyes, all the other organs are also constantly engaged and exercised. Sound, smell, taste and even touch which I do not have an example of yet. To create images rich in context, engaging all the senses helps.

There is also another step beyond passively engaging the senses. You see just enjoying the sensory overload does not empower a person. It is letting those experiences permeate one's consciousness and in moments of creativity, letting those experiences shape the effort. Quite often a conscious and unconscious effort to understand a vast array of sensory experience is also needed. Consciously one can dissect the colors, smell, tonality of life and draw conclusions on the emotional and intellectual effects these experiences would have on a person. Then there is the synergy of an overall experience, like a trip to an exotic land, that can result in a more subtle philosophical and even spiritual comprehension, which cannot be directly harnessed in the creative act, but guides the subtle finesse of the work.

In conclusion, live life well. Engage the ideas and experiences that you encounter completely. That is the foundation of a creative expression. Technicality is only the tool that enables the creation. For a photographer, the camera is important, yes. However, without something to say, without a rich mine of raw experience, one can only create superficial expressions.


|- jX -| said...

very insightful.. thanks for sharing your experiences with us, gives me another thought to slowly nibble on and hopefully i can make a decision on my future too.. ;p

Wes & Jo said...

hey dude, couldn't msn you. just wanted you to know, the Greg Gorman b&w conversion ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! i used it in a project, it's unbelievable man. thanks so much. :)


Heng said...

I am happy to share what knowledge I have. I just hope that I get a handle on my own work eventually. :)

One thing nice about going to the Epson Print Academy was how such great photographers, like Greg Gorman, were so willing to share their digital knowledge.

I hope that we all can continue to grow and reach out full potential.