Another photographer who greatly influenced me is Minor White. One of my most treasured and inspirational photography books is “Manifestations of the Spirit” by said photographer, poet and unique human being. Not one of the more familiar names I guess, but very important to the world of photography. It’s high time to take a peek.
His work though has struck a chord with me. The best way to describe it is, poetic. You don’t sit down and look at Minor’s photographs, you read their verse. For such, I am not going to post a link to any of his photography here. If you are interested do yourself the favour of not browsing it on-line where attention spans will not give it due justice. Get a book, sit down and read it. At this point, I can only recommend “Manifestations of the Spirit”, but even that one book is one of the more eloquent I have ever laid eyes on.
Seeing his work made me realise that poetry or verse is what I have often wanted to see more of in my own photography. I am happy with how I photograph and my ability with a camera, but I am also constantly pushing and exploring, trying to identify what I can do better or even just differently. And I want to make images that are more lyrical. Not just story-telling, though that is an important aspect of it, but how that story is told, the choice of visual elements as words, how information is conveyed. No no no, not information, that is too cold a word, but the sharing of emotion, belief, feeling, etc.
At the same time, the dissatisfaction I think I commonly feel with a lot of the photography I see out there today (a lot of it on social media sites) is that there is a large amount of info being communicated but little poetry being written. Many photos I see tell me when or where they were taken, but not who took them. They are rich in info but void of emotion. Some of my photography is guilty of this too.
Which is one reason I was drawn to Minor’s work. It is also the reason I would encourage you to get out of the Flickr world now and again and into that much larger world of photography that surrounds it. And if you are a photographer and you have never heard of Minor White, let alone seen any of his photos, that’s OK too, now is a great time to change that.
“Self-discovery though a camera? I am scared to look for fear
of discovering how shallow my Self is! I will persist however…
because the camera has its eye on the exterior world. The camera will lead
my constant introspection back into the world….”