Photographs

So why do I need a $3000 dollar camera again? by Braden Williams

I've been in Oklahoma visiting family for the past couple of days, and I decided not to bring a camera. Oklahoma was the most green anyone has ever seen it-and we went hiking out to the "40 ft hole" this place was beautiful, and I got some great pictures(above). I continue to be convinced of the philosophy that "the best camera is the one you have with you" oft supported by Chase Jarvis.

Really I know that I need a quality camera in order to work in anything but ideal situations, especially any time I need to get close, and anytime I need to shoot in low light.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words by Braden Williams

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

The first time that I heard that phrase was during a lower school assembly where Mr. Jelinek(that is undoubtedly spelt wrong) was presenting to us on some sort of art. I remember looking at this asian painting he was showing us and thinking about the idea of fitting words into the painting, a very physical representation of this idea; I didn't really understand what it really meant at the time, but this idea of a physical representation of the thousand words in a picture is still really interesting to me. But I digress, this idea of a picture being worth a thousand words has been a significant driver in my pursuit of art. Collegiate has instilled in me a very serious sense of the importance of the written word, and this conversion of sorts between pictures and words has helped me understand the significance of pictures. As I was thinking about writing this post I realized the deeper implications of this saying, at least for myself, and that is that Images evoke feeling that causes you to think while words evoke thought that helps you to feel.*

When I go and look at what are generally agreed to be the 'best' photographs so far, especially in the context of photojournalism, these images are the ones that evoke the most feelings, that 'pull at your heart strings', not neccessarily the most technically correct photos, or the most perfectly composed, or the photo that is full of information ripe for the picking. It's the photos that evoke an instant viceral reaction. This idea of photographs pulling at emotions is interesting, it inherintly puts a photojournalist who believes this exposed to a lot of emotion creating images, and that can have a significant effect on oneself. Anyway, this concept of photographs as an emotional tool needs some in the field exploring, I'll probably write another post about this concept in the ne

*I'm not quite sure about the final quarter of that statement, but saying something inverted like that sounds cool, so I'm going to run with it.

Tim Hetherington, My latest role model by Braden Williams

Ever since I read Sebastian Junger's book War and subsequently pined for, and then watched Restrepo I respected Tim Hetherington as a great war photographer. In the last month or so I've come to understand, and see a similarity of thought between Tim and I.  It was this NYTimes Lens Blog article and specifically this quote: "

“If you are interested in mass communication, then you have to stop thinking of yourself as a photographer,” he told Michael Kamber in arevealing interview last year, as his documentary film “Restrepo” was about to open. “We live in a post-photographic world. If you are interested in photography, then you are interested in something — in terms of mass communication — that is past. I am interested in reaching as many people as possible.”

That made me realize the similar opinions we have/had. Looking back on all of his work, I see something that I'm deeply jealous of. Not only was he a great photographer, but he also was a great storyteller, and if you read my About Me section, you can see that that's whats important to me. Tim understood that photographs, film, what have you, were all really the same, they were very similar light capturing mediums through which one can tell a very compelling story.

Reflections on a Break by Braden Williams

I haven't taken a photograph at Collegiate since Graduation.I just spent the past 30 minutes or so scrolling through my 40000+ image Lightroom collection looking at photos from high school, reminiscing, and attempting to confront my active pullback from the Collegiate community as a photographer. This active pullback was spurred on by a couple of different things. A lot of the photos I've taken in the past have been for The Journal(The school paper) and I've not been involved in that publication since last winter, but that's another story. I began to say at the beginning of the year that I wasn't taking photographs because "I had photographed Collegiate so much over the years, that it had become repetitive and boring". That is complete and utter bullshit, but not really. Collegiate in actuality is never repetitive, 3/4 of the upper school student body is different from when I was a freshman, 1/2 is different from when I was a sophomore, and 1/4 is different since I've become a Senior. Furthermore there are some pretty basic subjects that I've failed to ever cover. I've never once shot a wrestling match, I've also never photographed a running event. I think my real reason for backing away from photography at Collegiate this year is trying to acquire 'genuine' memories in my last year at Collegiate. I've found that my memory of any given event that I've photographed is locked to my photography, mention Godspell and I instantly think of the photographs I took over the course of the production, and not of the production itself. My camera also acts as a barrier to true human connection; by having my camera up all the time, I really am hiding behind the lens, and avoiding people, not working to make good connections. Finally I truly have moved through the Collegiate Photography opportunities, while I haven't captured every genre or subject in Collegiate, I've done a good part of it, and I've come to understand certain aspects of Collegiate through this work. This post is probably ending up in the purgatory of wallsoftext, but writing it down helped me work through this decision, and that's whats important.