One thing I have become more and more wary of is labels. They’re very convenient for all the wrong reasons. Politicians, Advertisers, Social Media, all like to use labels to put people in boxes. But we’re more complex than that. A label doesn’t give us the ability to change. Change is good, it’s healthy, it means we’ve grown. The same goes for photography. We’re expected to develop a style, have a portfolio of similar work, be known for one category. I pursued this ideology and it killed my photography. I may have severely hampered any commercial success. Ultimately I traded potential earnings for very real happiness.
I was challenged with a scavenger hunt, ten very well defined categories. I loved the idea of the challenge but didn’t want creativity to be crushed by meeting the exact requirements. Technically, all are achievable with no overlap, but in doing so, it wouldn’t have been as fun and the images would have had less soul.
I decided to shoot all ten in one day, on one walkabout. I memorised the catagories, so I could look for opportunities without consulting a list. I didn’t tick anything off, although half way through the day, I knew I had two or three of each. The hard part was selecting which to post.
*Simplify your Subject:* _Photograph a simple subject of interest in a way where there is absolutely no question about what your main subject is._
This is a category I have been perusing with as much vigour as I previously pursued B&W. My Arcanum title, is Seeker of Essence. It should therefore have been an easy category, but the _absolutely no question_ part, planted a seed of doubt. The second part I found challenging was the word ‘Subject’. I’ve been simplifying my images, but without thinking about the subject. Watching critiques in the Grand Library I often hear masters talking about an image having a cast, the lead player, supporting actors etc. So is the Subject the lead actor?
*Intent* I took this shot at the end of the day. I had spent most of it in Gardens by The Bay and the two enormous Greenhouses. Walking back to the train station, I cut through Marina Bay Sands, shopping mall. It’s an outrageously expensive mall. When a label says ‘London, New York, Paris, Singapore’ - this is where their outlet is found. It’s a very fertile location for street photography. I often find ’stages’ and wait for the actors to arrive.
I hoped when I looked down from four floors up, that the ‘ice rink’ would have a few skaters. I was really happy to see one lone girl, perfect for a simple shot. I zoomed in close enough to get a few images of just her and the ‘ice’ but the first shot I took, wider, is the one I have chosen to post. It’s not as simple as it could be as I’ve included two small triangles. They form a bigger triangle with the girl and bounce the eye back to the subject. The brain can also fill in the gaps and close the space. I simplified further by converting to B&W, the nylon ‘ice’ had picked up some colour cast from the shops and lights the surround the rink and it was distracting.
My whole point about labels . . . this is also B&W, has a repeating pattern, a hint of natural frame and an architectural element. All categories in this hunt.
2017AprilApril 24thBWIce RinkMarina Bay SandsMinimalSkater