...and I certainly won't eclipse that here. To this point, I have not had a specific agenda in terms of taking travel photos-- mainly just walking 8-10 miles a day and shooting what catches my eye. Over time, I've come to understand a pattern of what catches my eye, including (but not limited to) the below:
- I well prefer shapes to colors (not that the two are mutually exclusive); a color without shape is meaningless. A shape without color represents infinite possibility.
- Despite drab ol' gray being my favorite color, I prefer a heavy dose of contrast. Shadows are inherently interesting in how they can hide/mask other objects, and/or become an object (in a sense, something out of nothing).
- Not only does a good picture have a lot of contrast in my opinion, but a collection should incorporate contrast as well. More and more, I'm finding that I prefer to include colorful pictures mainly (microcosm..ically?) for contrast in the set. I realize that color vs. non-color is not the only contrast worth mentioning (subject matter, textures, lighting, etc..) but it's probably the most basic one and the only that I'll mention for now until I get further along and better understand my tendencies/preferences or at least better recognize them when they emerge or shift.
- Portraits (or scenes involving identifiable people) have not appealed to me, and what follows is my best conjecture as to why. For me, it's cringeworthy when someone (admiring a photo of a 'native' person--usually old and of stoic countenance) expounds on how "...each individual line in her face has a story..." etc etc etc... Bullshit. I can't pretend to buy in to that sort of narrative, let alone try to propagate it myself. Maybe to me it seems like an easy way out; our voyeuristic nature inherently likes looking at people (especially when they cannot look back) and ascribing meaning to what we see-- lest our time spent observing be for naught. No apologies for cynicism here, obtuse as things may sound.
- In my mind, there is a paradoxical 'luxury in austerity' afforded by black and white or monochromatic pictures-- though it's tough to put a finger on it. 'Simplicity' sounds too patronizing, 'elegance' is far too presumptuous. Somewhere in there, the lines intersect or the curve reaches an apex similar to the mathematical functions for 'less is more' and 'the book was better than the movie.'
Side note: I realize that nobody wants to see pictures of hot chocolate, but that is one of the things I like to hunt for in a new city-- the best local place for HC. Might save that for a future post-- what makes a great hot chocolate. It's pretty simple, really-- but not so simple to find in Scandinavia.