art philosophy

unnatural realism

If I had to provide a name for my infantile photography style, it would have to be unnatural realism.

‘Realism’ in the sense that I find myself growing intolerant of hyper-edited shots that look nothing at all like the world.  Over-highlighted, over (or under) exposed and saturated, shadows removed, etc.  All to just make it more ‘exciting’.  I find myself gravitating to the normal, the mundane, the ‘boring’.  I try to capture the wonder of the everyday that we so often skip over so quickly because of our… wait, my busy schedule.

And ‘unnatural’, because I think all photography, like all art, is a startlingly unnatural thing, in the sense that nature doesn’t care what it looks like.  Nature doesn’t say “ooh, this will make a good shot, get this angle…”  To mash C.S. Lewis and Richard Dawkins into one assessment, Nature is a blind, pitiless, indifferent and dumb witch.  Imagine (if you dare) every single angle and distance/zoom combination you could take of a given object in the world.  Now imagine every object in the world – the ones that get attention (i.e. Auckland Skytower), and the ones that don’t (i.e. a simple blade of grass by your sidewalk).  Take it into movies/film.  How boring would a 100 minutes of raw footage from a still camera in my back yard be?  The point?  We cannot overstate how selective we are in what we choose to record, and how we choose to the post-process it.  Insanely unnatural.

Anyway, those are some thoughts that have been rattling around my brain whilst I carry my camera around.