If you really know me you’ll know that my favorite genre of visual art is not photography (photography is actually my 3rd favorite). My favorite is sculpture followed by architecture, then photography. Nothing moves me more than a great sculpture.
I could never collect the patience to chisel anything out of a block of marble. It’s way out of my league. I fully appreciate the delicacy of the hands that fashion life out of a chunk of stone.
This particular sculpture anchors the long line of sculptures that flank the front lawn at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. I’ve posted about the Huntington before here.
I walked around this piece for 15 minutes. Sam waited on a nearby park bench. I ran my fingers along the calf muscles of this child and pinched the heel. I missed Grace who is nearly the exact size of this figure. This child’s flesh was cold and coarse though.
I’d love a sculpture of Grace to place in my front lawn. I doubt that Sam would pose nude for the other half of this work.
Photo tips, philosophical data and technical information
Rolleiflex FX. Portra 160nc film. Exposure unknown.
Photography in it’s purest form is a person recording, out of affection, a loved one, thing, place or event.
I call this type of photography subject based imaging. The most obvious example is the Mother photographing her child on their birthday.
Other types of imaging include graphic oriented imaging (line, shape, pattern, texture) equipment driven imaging (purely to see what a piece of equipment will do), and propaganda (commercial photography).
The imaging that has the most power is the work that is centered on the affection of the subject matter.
Karl Blossfeltd is a great example of that premise. He photographed plants. He loved plants and created a legendary portfolio that is unmatched in its depth and beauty of that subject. Another photographer that made a fanstatic portfolio in the 1870’s was Julia Margaret Cameron. She created idyllic scenes with children and adults. She used impossible technology and cameras to do it too.
Great photography comes from your hearts desire and the honest attempt to capture your vision. The camera is merely the tool to facilitate. As our friend Chi Chi Rodriguez says “It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian”
-Jon Ball is a photographer living in Boise, Idaho. His website www.studiojonball.com is highly visited by interested parties, photographers and skeptics.