week 15 | 2011

At dvafoto I read an interesting article last week about ‘What pictures do the public want to see?‘ It is somehow a bit disturbing to me, but maybe read it first.

It is almost the same issue as we photographers can discuss extensively. Some want to tell a story and use photography as a mean to do so. Others wants to take photographs of beautiful scenery while others want to photograph ordinary things and make them look interesting or whatever. None is better or worse in my opinion, but it does however influence your own opinion about the different genres in photography. Both the photograph of the spider tree in Pakistan by Russel Watkins and the early days aftermath of the earthquake in Japan by Jake Price tell a story. Some is more obvious than the other. At this point it not only is the result of how the photographer executed it, but also what people really want to see. After the earthquake for instance I often heard anchor men or women at international news networks tell people how unbelievable the photographs were that came from Japan. Often one single photograph gave so many details that it was just one story, but often many personal stories. It was so different from the observant video footage we saw.

The dark B&W series has very much a personal vision, part of the reason for me why the photographer used elements like the dark contrasts. It is not only how the photographer thought it affected the people in Japan, but likely also how it affected him. On the contrary the spider tree that is result of the horrible floods in Pakistan last year. How he took the photograph it’s purpose became last in our translation and interpretation of the photograph.

The entire issue however prompts me to think how we all want to be successful and respected. Due to public demands we might eventually all do things that others appreciate. Meaning also that we change our photography and we take photographs that people want to see instead of the photographs we want to show to the people.

The last three photographs were taken with my new PanasonicGF1 with the 20mm f/1.7 lens. The compactness and the option to still have a small interchangeable lens system actually made me go for the GF1 instead of for instance the Fujifilm X100 or the Ricoh GXR. The Fuji was very tempting, but to be honest I still feel it is a true version 1 camera. It shows promise, but the EVF technology still has to mature. The Ricoh GXR is fantastic, but I would have loved to see it with a 40mm lens. The Ricoh GRD3 will of course remain an important camera for me.

The photographs of this ongoing project will also be updated here.

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma