Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Y Is For Yellow

It’s Not What You Shoot, It’s HOW You Shoot It

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


One of the joys of individualism is the ability to see things differently, to have an independent opinion and to have a viewpoint while respecting the views of those around you.

Precisely because human beings are blessed with intelligence, no two people will ever share exactly the same perspective, whether it involves a description of an event, the artistic rendering of an object or scene, or the photographic depiction of any sight.

Show a brief film clip to a room full of people and each of them will notice different things about the clip. Play a soundtrack to them and each will have a different opinion on the harmony, the instrumentation or even the quality and delivery of the lyrics.

That’s the thing about viewpoint. Difference is good. It is a sign of an independent mind.

There is no correct way to bracket your art. What you interpret depends entirely on your brain. If you sent two dozen photographers to shoot the Sydney Opera House at exactly the same time, they’d all come back with different images.

I’ve probably said this before, but only you can define your art. Follow your instinct. Dare to depict things the way you see them, or the way in which they catch your eye. Unfetter your imagination.

And if you’re wondering what I’ve shot here, the answer is very simple. They’re not UFOs. They’re not mutant glow-worms. They’re ceiling lights at Freshwater Place, here in Melbourne.

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30 comments:

Shadow said...

great words to all those budding artists out there... 'There is no correct way to bracket your art.'

Lori ann said...

Wonderful post David. I love this and I completly agree, there are as many ways as people to view the world.

When my children were small I would give them one of those disposable cameras everysooften just to see what they were seeing. It's facinating to me.

Beautiful shot.

RuneE said...

I liked it - even though I'm not an artist. But as you wrote: I do my own thing.

James said...

Well said David. I'm amazed on a daily basis by oridinary things that are turned into extrodinary things by bloggers with artistic vision. This post is a perfect example. The same goes for words and how you and others are able to choose the right ones so poetically.

Free your mind and your arts will follow.

Erin said...

i so agree...i like having my own eye and opinion ^..^ it's what makes me, ME.
have a wonderful day.

cheshire wife said...

Interesting photo! You are so right. It would be so boring if we all saw things in the same way.

~Just me again~ said...

Very interesting shot! I like it ;)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

That's interesting, David. I thought they might be some sort of tenting... like the roof of a tent prepared for a party. I imagined party guests, swaying to and fro in time to a little orchestra...

You stumped me there!

Sheila :-)

immersion said...

When I taught art at the elementary school as a volunteer docent, this is exactly the message I wanted the children to understand. They embraced the idea fully, and expanded on it! I was surprised and pleased.

I am glad to see I am not the only person capturing light fixtures. When visiting a restaurant with my husband I was marveling at the light fixtures that looked similar to these. During dinner I grabbed my camera a shot away, not worried at all at the absurdity it may have looked to be.

Sarah said...

Love the shots!! I agree..it's all about the eye. Being an artist in the sense that I draw and paint..the joy of creating art with the camera is huge. Being able to catch on film what I find beautiful is amazing!!
Have a great day, Sarah

Jazz said...

Ceiling lights? Damn!

willow said...

"...only you can define your art." Love it, David.

Cynthia L. H. said...

Very nice. This is exactly why I enjoy the world of blogging. Each person is so unique.
Your photo! I thought along the same lines as Quintessential Magpie...that it was the billowing ceiling of an enormous event tent...or something with hot-air balloons (in reverse) ! :^)

Pinkerbell said...

You are so right about this. As soon as we put our art/words out there they are open to everyone else to interpret them, which is what is so delicious about this blogging malarky.

I thought that they looked like balloons suspended in very wide-meshed nets, although I couldn't figure out why someone would do that!

Maggie May said...

Ceiling lights..... Ha!
I was thinking more of parachute material!

However I thought your advice on interpretation was very good. Follow your instincts & respect the views of others around you! Yes, I like that!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Such insight, we alone can bring our personal vision to the world. Such a photograph draws you in and forces you to LOOK in a way that a photo of a mountain, or something as familiar will not. Well said.

Elizabeth

Tranquility said...

Well said!

Not mutant glow worms? How disappointing! ;)

Neat photo!

Leslie: said...

Words of wisdom from a pro should be taken seriously. I've actually learned a lot from you, David, and hope to continue to do so.

lakeviewer said...

Not the subject, but the treatment. It's the same with any art form, isn't it?

Maria-Thérèse said...

So true.
I like the photo a lot!!

♥ maria-thérèse www.afiori.com

Granny Smith said...

I appreciate your advice again and again. This post is so true. And the photo is beautiful.

Grace and Bradley said...

What you said is so true for photography. Grace and I now went out together often with our cameras. We came back with very different images. Hers are sure as good as mine or better. I often say that photographers have a more beautiful life, because we try always see the beauty in our surroundings.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I like this. Perspective always interests me.

Kathleen said...

"Unfetter your imagination" -- I think I'll print that one out and post it, maybe even frame it, or perhaps decorate it with beads and feathers and found objects.

And thanks to your encouragement, I've unfettered my point and shoot and we are having a grand time together bracketing all manner of things.

The only problems with unfettered imagination are the odd stares and comments you get from people watching you photograph chains on dumpsters or striking flowers framed against the backdrop of their park cars.

Do you eventually become inured ?

Janie said...

Great advice, and what a unique perspective in your photo.

Roger Owen Green said...

would never have sussed out the object of the photo. well shot, and well stated.

Babooshka said...

Absolutely. As I always say to people you think the camera doesn't. Dazzling yellow too.

Louise said...

I thought they were ceiling lights at PF Changs, which I've never noticed as photograph-worthy until now.

Q said...

It is so true...expression in any art form is simply expression.
I really like the way yoour yellow expression.
Sherry

Scriptor Senex said...

"That’s the thing about viewpoint. Difference is good. It is a sign of an independent mind."
So true, so true. I shall no doubt be quoting you in the near future!