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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Creating a Mood for Photography

Photography is art (it can be other things, too, but deep down it should be art). And art is something so abstract, so unique, and so subjective, that it simply cannot be confined into the digital circuits of a camera or the glasses of a lens. The art of photography exists in your mind - and beyond, if you want to go into the ontology of art.

So, how do we create photography? How do we create art? Can it be "forced"? Surely, there are moments when we must take photos even if we do not feel too inspired - I have been in assignments that were boring if not outright excruciating (it's really hard to take photos for someone you don't like). But is there such a thing as creating a mood for photography? There definitely is. Or, rather, there is a way to create the settings and conditions that could facilitate the creation of this mood.

As I said above, photography is an art, and as such it exists in the mind and beyond. What therefore is crucial, is to find a way to release the energy and presence of this transcendental thing called art into the world around us. What works for me - and I invite you to try it - is music. In an almost obsessive way. Whenever I can afford it - mostly when I create images not involving people I have to interact with - I pick a song or two, and play them on repeat on my mp3. The effect can really be a very powerful influence to your photography - it really does affect the kind of photos and the kind of mood you'll be getting.

Try a little game for yourself and see how it goes: Pick a location you'd like to photograph, then visit it listening to a very calm, ethereal, ambient kind of music. Then, another day, do the same listening to a powerful, aggressive, all-out kind of music (death metal comes to mind). And compare the results.

This is only one example, of course. The key point here is this: Photography is an art, and it has to be treated as such. If you see the world with your eyes, you will see nothing; use your mind instead.

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