You know about the crazy life of a creative, but do you know about the solitude? Do you live a life of solitude by choice or by design? Does your art require or dictate the way you interact and live in the world?
As I’ve been watching documentaries of master photographers from the past and present, I’m beginning to see a trend of broken relationships, art created alone, intimacy issues. I’m also learning about the way they see and interact with the world, including some profound ideas.
Paul Strand was a master photographer who fell in love with photography as a teen and hung on tight until he passed away. He went through three marriages and similar to Stieglitz, spent his honeymoon photographing instead of romancing. His images were innovative, contemporary, and challenged what people had seen in photography. His relationships were strained. At the end of his life, his wife said he patted his photographs like they were his children, because in fact, they were the love of his life.
He was a man who created in solitude, who loved spending time in the dark room creating images that would open the eyes of others about what was possible. He believed that photography wasn’t just about going out and making nice images, but it was about what you had to say about the world. You have to have something to say about the world.
This is what Paul Strand had to say about the portrait:
“The portrait of a person is one of the most difficult things to do because in order to do it means you must almost bring the presence of that person photographed to other people in such a way that they don’t have to know that person personally in any way but they still are confronted with a human being that they won’t forget, the image of whom they will never forget. That’s a portrait.”
What a beautiful way of expressing what a portrait truly can be for a person. Paul Strand also said that in the middle class we’re trained to be blind… and he started to photograph people in the Great Depression, to really see and show what was happening. I see that in the photo series I created for the Street Grace and 12Stone event to fight child exploitation and sex trafficking… I want to open people’s eyes to what is happening around them.
“The artist, like a true scientist, is a researcher, digging into the meaning of the world.”
How will you dig into the world with your images? What will you portray in the portraits you take? What meaning will you uncover to open the eyes of the blind?
Technical Knowledge and Images: Read few pages in camera manual and looked at images on Twitter Tuesday from tasra365 photogs. Did you get listed?