The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Obsession - and Episode 49 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

There was a moment in last night's podcast about the Minimalism Photo Challenge I'd set, when it struck me just how obsessive I, and the regular viewers and contributors of the podcast, actually are with photography.

I'd been reviewing an image by Marie (see 1 hour, 11 minutes into the episode if you're interested) which had quite a complex set up and had resulted in several broken items before she got the shot she was after.

In that moment, I was reminded of Rosie's comment a couple of weeks back where she had spent many hours in a garden shed to try and get some bird shots, and my friend who would think nothing of camping on top of a mountain to capture a stunning sunrise over the landscape, and how many people have been amazed at the lengths I've gone to to create some of my images.

And then later in the same podcast Viji revealed how she had been inspired by a photo she'd seen and wished to recreate. However, there weren't any buildings where she lived like the one in the image, so she created a model with board, paper, paint and glue, in order to get a shot she wanted.

And I realised the simple fact is we (the podcast followers and I) are obsessed by photography. It's not just some kind of simple or passing interest – it possesses a part of our soul.

Every day there are hundreds of millions of people taking photos with their phones, but they don't have quite the same level of obsession with the act and art of photography.

The simple test is how far are you prepared to go to get the photo you want?

My landscape photos are OK, but nothing super-special, because most of my shots are taken within a few metres or where I've parked the car. I'm not prepared to trek into the hills, or get up at ridiculously early hours to catch the sunrise.

My wildlife images are generally very poor because I do not have the patience to sit in a hide for hours on end, or research the behavioural or migration patterns of particular species.

But I will spend hours on end chatting with people, developing ideas, collaborating with hairdressers, makeup artists, and people who can make or find outfits, props and locations for an epic staged narrative photo shoot.

I think this is probably true for all artists and creatives – those who eventually become good or great at what they do, just wouldn't let go, no matter how many obstacles were put in their path.

It's not just an interest, it is an obsession.

Why else would I spend half my week creating a 2 hour podcast about photography, if there wasn't something pulling deep within me?

And why else would certain people from different locations, different backgrounds, different cultures, different religions, different socio-economic groups, different political outlooks, and different ages, give up 2 hours of their day every Tuesday to watch me?

Because, I think, we connect on this obsessional level when it comes to photography.

And I love it!

Meanwhile, here's the full podcast from last night.


0:00 - Welcome, what's coming up, greetings and comments
3:57 - Introduction to the Minimalism Photo Challenge
6:43 - Reviewing images on the theme "Minimalism" submitted to the Facebook Group, "Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres"
11:04 - What are you chasing?
30:31 - Escape - a yearning...
53:48 - The usefulness of bracketing images
1:15:35 - We are obsessives
1:42:30 - What is the range of minimalism?
1:49:30 - End

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And, or course, if you would like to submit a photo for feedback, or just ask a photography related question, then do join my Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres  Facebook group and I will put it into the following podcast:


Viji said...

Great Post and session Kim. You inspire us all and you are a great role model to follow. Thank you for taking the time teach us techniques and critique our photos. We improve by the day, because of your mentorship :)

Kim Ayres said...

Viji - thank you for your lovely words, they are very warmly appreciated :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your critique , interesting as always ..

Kim Ayres said...

Martin - glad you found it useful :)

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