The video below “Chladni Singing” is exceptionally cool where by an artist sings certain tones to create patterns in salt on a Chladni plate. Beyond the cool factor of this what struck me is that this is a great visual example of an artist not just creating art, but imposing an impression of themselves in their work. If it were a computer generated tones the patterns would snap to exact formation, but this is inexact human tone where it is unique to the singer. Transitions between tones are inexact, pitch of tones vary and sequences of tones vary based on artistic choice. Now think of this in terms of photography where this is also true, but in a less obvious fashion. More after the video…
Let’s take a common photograph of Tunnel View in Yosemite, arguably one of the most common photographs of Yosemite you’ll find. The great thing about taking photos of this view is that its clearly amazingly beautiful, but every person who takes a photo of this view captures their own unique version. Capturing a unique version is not just a reflection of weather variation, seasonal differences, different camera gear, different photographic experience levels, etc. By definition we as photographers and artists place an impression of ourselves in our photographic work. We do not capture a clinically sterile view of the world around us. We inject our own unique perspectives, styles, areas of focus, life experiences and personalities into our work.
Artistic styles or subject niches may be the more obvious forms of an artist’s impression in their work, but an artist’s impression can also be very subtle. As you view the work of other photographers see if you can observe the impression of the artist in their work. A finer eye or perhaps a longer term familiarity with the photographer’s work may be necessary to detect their impression. Conversely as an artist/photographer be aware even the photos you take from the most intensely crafted to the generic always contain your impression. What passions stir in your creative mind that are leaving an impression of who you are in your work?
[tags]photography, philosophy, impression, style, Yosemite, California, landscape, nature[/tags]