Sunday, 1 June 2014

Has Digital killed off Thinking Photographers?

My friend and photographic colleague Michael Coyne urges photographers to think before they press the shutter.

Ask yourself a couple of questions:
  • Are my images technically correct in terms of exposure, colour and sharpness?
  • Have I given thought to the design or have I simply pointed and shot?
  • Is my visual message simple, clear and bold?
  • Is there a 'hero' on my photo? A person, tree, dog or rock could all be 'heroes'?
  • Did I allow others to view my image or is it hidden under the bed?
  • Did I earn a fair return for my effort? 
  • Did my photograph make someone or group or community feel better?

Leprosarium, Andreh Pradesh, India, Photo: © Dale Neill 2005

Five hundred metres down the road was a leprosarium. My Indian minders warned me the leprosarium was strictly out of bounds for me as a westerner.

The young  girl stepped forward from her group and greeted me enthusiastically. She had no mother and father and lived in the colony with her grandmother who had contracted leprosy. She asked me to photograph her and show the others.


I could just as easily have been sitting in the Blue Duck Cafe in Cottesloe with my retired mates - the teachers, accountants and engineers. Dressed in their slacks and ironed shirts, sipping lattes they would have been discussing their golf handicaps, the stock market and the state of the economy. I chose Andreh Pradesh rather than the Blue Duck.


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