With all due respect, saying "nice pictures" followed by the insinuation that there is no artistic point of view or no creativity
by the photographer is a somewhat hollow compliment. It's like using the term "pretty" to describe a work of art, which none of use want to hear
Okay, Chuck; this is familiar territory for the two of us and we know, from experience in this place, that we simply can't see the same things in the same images.
Maybe you can indicate exactly where the artistic quality lies in those images? I see them as competent photographs of what's in front of the man's camera. I see absolutely no personal input beyond camera technique. I feel reluctant to get into the same old loop yet again, but for me, shooting something that exists, that will exist whether or not a photographer is present, holds no honour for the photographer when he catches it.
One (okay Ė I) can shoot a wonderful sunset, the foggiest of foggy days, the most stunning of breaking waves, but one hasnít created a hot damned thing. Exactly like HC-B, he has recognized something and had the camera ability to catch it. Thatís not art; thatís not creativity. Thatís experience. In the case of HC-B; I never thought of Henri as a creative photographer at all; I always thought of him as one of the worldís most efficient opportunists with the eye of a hawk. He didnít create anything; he captured what was about
to happen, and would have happened with or without him being around.
Staying within this blessed loop, Iím forced to reiterate: creativity is the power of being able to create. In my head, thatís the ability to make something appear from components that, without the authorís input, would never have been juxtaposed, pitted against one another, fused, allowed to kiss in the framework of the photograph.
Thatís why I hand it to the guy in the studio who starts off with just a bottle of scent or a lipstick, and goes on to make an image that spells out luxury, lust, femininity, love, sex, the generally unattainable. Thatís why I also revere the iconic fashion photographer, the stylist whose work I can spot in a heartbeat; it is signature, handwriting, anything that makes a guyís work his, and not just an interchangeable product from any number of guys for rent.
It would be wonderful to be able to buy creativity; it would make life so easy and so happy for us all. But it ainít so, Iím afraid, as I know only too well myself. There are good days and there are days of the other sort. Your mojo can be running as dry as a stick, but when you have a job to do you just have to fly on hope and, at the very worst, rely on nothing more than technique to get you through. Then thereís the session where the model and you just click: you canít go wrong, and the problem then becomes when to stop. That little session, that different one, is where the creative juices are present and flying. Then, put down the camera, wipe off the face and its all over unless you subscribe to Blowup
. Only human interchange can produce that; it doesnít come from nature.
But as I wrote, weíve been here before and canít convince one another. And thatís fine by me: I donít hold a grudge because somebody thinks me wrong. They may even be right, though I am blind to it. Perhaps itís a semantic deceit. Maybe nothing is creative and yet everything is, by virtue of nothing more than someone having gone click.
Just by chance, and in an effort to distract myself form this circular trap, I switched on to the website of one of our better shooters here on LuLa.http://www.jameshaefner.com
Go into Etcetera and see what I was trying to put into words. Known as a specialist car guy, he can do anything else he damned well wants to do just as brilliantly. Thatís where I was trying to take the talk: some have it and can do it, and their
creativity just leaps off the screen at you.