Friday, October 26, 2012
At this point in my almost two-year old photography journey, I am trying to pull out the common threads of this pretty collection of photographs accumulating on my computer. I am searching for the possibility of a recurring pattern. Is there something I can tangibly put my finger on that says these photographs are mine? Can I see myself in the pictures even when I was standing behind the camera? These are the kinds of questions that go through your head when you are graciously asked to do something you've never done before, nor dreamed you would ever do: blog. And blog about photography, nonetheless! (Did you hear me mention that my journey is not even two years old?) It's quite an honor to get to share a few of my pictures and my thoughts. And for the questions that I considered, one answer stands out to me today and that is perspective. I have a favorite one, and I use it quite a bit in my photos.
I love seeing things from a really low perspective. A lying on the ground kind of low. A cutting off all but feet and legs kind of low. A putting my camera in harm's way kind of low ( I surely will drop it in the ocean one of these days). There is just something about seeing the world around me from that perspective that I find inspiring.
So I have asked myself why I am drawn to an ant's view of the world, and I think there are a couple of reasons. The first of which is a personality fit. I don't like to stand out. I like to blend in and go unnoticed. I absolutely let others take the lead while I cower at the back of the classroom. I let strong personalities take over while I quietly listen. To a fault, I'd probably even let you walk all over me, if you were so inclined. So if there were a quiz that matched the perspective of images with personality types, I'd say shooting from the ground would reflect my personality best.
And yet while a photograph of withering blooms lying on the ground may well reflect these depths of me, there is an unfortunate problem: actually taking the picture from the ground is rather attention-getting. It is so difficult for me to take the low perspective pictures that I desire when others are around. I don't like to look weird, but lying down in the wet grass or completely crouching alongside a road at sunset when everyone normal is driving home from work, looks weird. So my low perspective shots are reflective and yet challenging for my personality all at the same time.
The other way in which I am sure these shots reflect me is that I am drawn to the unexpected and quirky. So in a world where I walk around all day seeing things from the very ordinary perspective of five feet, six inches, I think discovering that my camera could enable a very different perspective was something so refreshing for me. I love how a low perspective leads something completely different to the story of what I am trying to tell with my pictures. I love how intentionally the tops of things and faces are not included, and you get to focus on things commonly overlooked. For me, documenting any location or experience just isn't complete unless I find a way to photograph it from down low. These pictures often tell me the most interesting part of the story and make me smile.
Digging through my photography to make these connections has been a good way to bring more thoughtfulness to how I use my camera and compose shots. Have you made connections like these? Have you noticed a perspective or subject or certain kind of light or processing style that you are drawn to? What do you think this says about you? I would love to know!
Today's post has been shared by Kelly Knox. After you leave her some love here, visit her gorgeous flickr stream....your day will be better because of it!!