Sunday, November 01, 2009

Plastic Symbiosis

Some people may say while admiring the result of a Holga:

- But all you do is press on that button...
Then you wait while totally relying on the vulnerability of the plastic box to do the work for you, and deliver the “art” such as you would like to call it.
You're totally dependent.

- Symbiosis.
- Pardon?
- I think it is more a symbiotic relationship, rather than total dependence.
Sure the machine deserves a lot of credit for delivering the final representation, but you also have to be there, and you have to know what you’re doing.
You have to kind of imagine and anticipate the final outcome of the photograph, in order for it to be as close to perfection as you would like it to be. If you leave it to the camera, the result would be totally random... after all it is plastic.
In order to master it, you really have to foresee it. A lot of trial and error will train you to see and read the future photograph or the photograph to be, and then mentally relay the information to your system so that the camera can "capture" your desires. Because I mean in order for you to get a satisfactory result you have to be there; you have to really be there at the right moment and at the right time, at the right angle and at the right light… and then you click!
You have to pose yourself instantaneously all the right questions:
Do you hold or do you release quickly? Do you focus or do you move?
Do you crank and shoot, or do you go for a double exposure?
These are some of the questions you have to pose and answer yourself almost immediately. And then you can “rely” on the plastic lens to execute them while adding a bit of its mysterious quirkiness, and theatrical subjectivity.
Symbiosis is the art of interaction and partnership, which to me, better describes the relationship of photographers with their Holga.

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At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Serpico said...

Nice pic. Brought back memories of Shanghai :)

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Delirious said...

hey look who's back after a long absence :)

At 11:03 PM, Blogger _z. said...

thanks mate... oh yeah? you lived in Shanghai? intense city isn't it?

hehe, yup... travels are done for mmmm about 2 months... I will try to keep up with the rest of you zealous bloggers :)
missed you guys.

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Serpico said...

Z, yeah I lived there the whole summer of 2006 and it was the best experience in my life. I long to go back. But you know, even though Montreal is different, each has its own unique taste. How was your experience?

At 7:07 AM, Blogger Marillionlb said...

I wouldn't know what to do except click on the button. I admire those who can actually take a picture which once printed (or published on PC screen) will stir up different emotions in different people. Isn't that art?

At 12:18 AM, Blogger _z. said...

It was an amazing experience for me as well.. but like I said, Shanghai is a pretty intense city... and I am not sure I can stay there for a very long period of time, but I would definitely want to visit every year... I stayed for about 3 weeks, but with the busy schedule at work, I didn't get to tour much... I fell in love with the old city though.. I used to go walk there every day after work and take photos...

you could just click a button as you say, and still be able to produce amazing photography... to me, the key is in the framing more so than in the complex manual settings... they help, but with all the photo enhancement softwares that are available nowadays, and the auto-shoot function, you can get pretty much get an acceptable photo anyway... but framing is key.


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