Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Waiting on a Finicky Fox

Last week Betty got really into flickr, which is like YouTube for artists and people with attention spans.

One photographer (of many) whose work impressed her was Josh Schwartzmann, whose visit to New York City in 2005 yielded some of the only images of urbanity in his collection. I asked Josh about the difference between shooting in nature and shooting in the city, and here's what he said:

As a photographer, the forest will always be more interesting to me than the city, as it is a far more complex and aesthetically interesting place, a place that has no voice for itself – so I feel the desire to capture and share it with others.

Wildlife is much easier to find in the city than in the wilderness. If you’re a wildlife photographer, you must have an infinite amount of patience; you are slave to the schedule of your subject, the elusive owl or finicky fox.

There's one obvious similarity when shooting in built or natural environment. In any photographic situation, whether in the wilderness or on Canal Street, light is the underlying fundamental element. Whether you head out for the local snowcone vendor, or the snow-topped peaks, consciously picking the right the light is the underlying basis to creating visually interesting photographs.

In the end, though, the city will always be less interesting to photograph because it is a solely human environment. The forest is always more intriguing because of the random arrangement of everything, the infinite levels of design, from overall design of the flora and fauna, the interactions of the millions of species, to the infinite tessellations in the macro photograph of a fern leaf.

The fern leaf can’t talk about itself or its unique environment, but as a photographer I can try to capture that and show humans in the human-designed environment that there is something else out there. Something with aesthetic beauty, complexity and interconnection – that I feel as a photographer is more important to share with the world than the built environment.

1 comment:

venus infers said...

ooh, i love the ART label, it looks so severe! kisses and misses-- v.