Friday, 2 December 2011

If genres were a personality....

This is one of those made up theories based on nothing other than my own take it as such...

It goes like this...bear with flagrant generalisations - it is the genre not the photographer I'm trying distil...if each genre of photography was a personality at a party...I would have street photography as the spontaneous, quick witted, humorous one...highly engaging, a flighty, social butterfly...not making long-term relationships and bestowed with that curious, intangible charisma! Photojournalism is the slightly more sensible older sibling. It is absent from the party...working...this genre is an adventurous free spirit with an engaging, determined demeanour. You can't help but listen to its fascinating anecdotes!!

I don't want to go through all the genres as I've only really thought of the two extremes on the continuum which is street photography and...landscape.  Now landscape is a relative party pooper...quiet, often alone, contemplative and rarely spontaneous.  This genre avoids people and is often intense. It has an eye for detail, will analyse endlessly and never stops planning. It is earnest and serious... 'deep and meaningful' feel compelled to get to know this enigmatic guest, intriguing and beguiling as they are.

Where am I going with this...well, it is my way of articulating the differences between the genres.  You have to draw on different sides of your personality depending on the type of photography you are pursuing. And some skills are likely to come easier to us depending on what we are like as individuals. I can see the benefit of trying all genres at this stage and seeing which 'fits' best. Or even amalgamating.  I like the idea that the soc doc course I have just completed, where the aesthetics and technical aspects are secondary to capturing a moment, provides an interesting starting point for landscape, which has a rich history of technical precision and a predisposition to the aesthetics.

As I start to think 'landscape', I can feel my approach is already shifting.  However, I'm reluctant to let go of the people side of photography altogether...landscapes can be quite dry unless there is some 'human' interest either in the picture or implied. Can humour and 'currentness' be incorporated in to the landscape occasionally?

I have today sent off my enrolment form for landscape. I'm doggedly pursued by thoughts, questions and ideas about landscape already and looking forward to exploring this genre.


  1. Love the way you have described the different genres- they are so apt and accurate!

    Good luck with the landscape-I know you will enjoy it!

    And when you have time, inclination and inspiration—please share some more personalities!

  2. Ha, ha, thanks Vicki...not sure it's the best use of my time...I think its one of those 'displacement' activities I'm growing rather fond of...