One of the many things I’ve noticed since adding photography to my professional skillset is how it has changed the way that I look at things. There is so much more to a scenario than we perceive at first glance; we also put a huge amount of ourselves to what we perceive. One of the nicest, and most frequent, compliments I get about my photographs is how I managed to capture the feeling of the event, or the sense of a particular person. As I sort through a set of photographs, I’m always struck by quite how much the photographs end up expressing my impressions of the event; I can how much I engaged with the people, and how much they engaged me.
The camera isn’t a neutral instrument, it photographs what the photographer perceives, more than it photographs what is there. The Lab, from Canon Australia, recently ran an experiment they called ‘decoy’. Not only does it demonstrate how photographs tell stories at so many levels, it is also a challenge of the preconceptions that shape our view of the world.
“A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it.”