Why Slow Photography?
Why do we need SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY?
Figure the following: Within the last 24 hours, more photographs were created than in the first 100 years of photography combined. The sheer number of photographs generated has skyrocketed. And this trend is still accelerating at an astonishing pace.
Thanks to ever cheaper digital cameras photography has become pervasive and instant and very fast. Consequently, we are all flooded with a constant stream of images. Everywhere – all the time.
And not all is good photography – to put it mildly…😉
Smartphone cameras have advanced to a point where it is fair to say that almost everyone carries a ‘good enough’ camera in their pocket – all of the time. And a quick glance at any random person’s Facebook or Instagram feed reveals where all this is going.
Is all this a good thing or a bad thing ? You tell me !
What seems certain to me is that the photography has lost a lot of its value and appeal. Something has gone missing along the way.
Thus, I propose that photographers and photography lovers who treasure the skill and the art of photography to follow a different approach to creating images.
I propose the concept of SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY as one possible answer to the challenges of becoming a better photographer and making photographs which stand out and get noticed.
What is slow photography ?
Let me start by telling you right away: there is no clear definition for what Slow Photography is. I doubt that there ever will be such a definition.
Why ? Because slow photography is neither a style nor a clearly definable domain. Nor does it conform to a particular set rules. But there are guidelines on how to practice Slow Photography.
Slow Photography can mean different things to different people. And ultimately you have to figure out for yourself what it means to you.
Over the years I have become very passionate about Slow Photography because I have seen how it has transformed my photography for the better.
I have spent considerable time breaking my head how to make photographs in a more meaningful way.
My thoughts are of course my own personal opinions and observations. Opinions that were greatly influenced by my 15-year-long career as a professional photographer, working in several domains of photography.
Slow Photography = ‘Zen of Photography’ ?
I like to compare Slow Photography to Zen – a Japanese philosophy and way of thinking about the world.
You can dive into it, but you will never reach the bottom. The more you seek answers the more questions will arise. But the point is not to get answers, but to use questions as a method to force yourself to think about photography.
Slow Photography is foremost an attitude – a way how you approach the process of creating images. It’s about the way you think about photography. How you use your equipment. How you interact with the people and/or situations you are photographing. How to pursue and enjoy photography.
Slow Photography is a path, not a destination. It’s all about how to get there and not about being there.
How can you get into Slow Photography ?
Let a well-known shoe company answer that:
Just do it!
There are several ways to get into and to practice Slow Photography.
Probably the best is to join the Slow Photography movement and be part of a like-minded community of photographers.
Learning together and from others is an age-old concept that still holds true today. Thanks to the Internet and Social media getting together and exchanging ideas has never been easier.
Best of all it is for free.
Another excellent way is to find a teacher, a mentor, a coach, a ‘guru’. Call it what you want – there is a big benefit to learn and get advice from someone who traveled down the path you are about to embark upon.
Be wary though of self-proclaimed experts who know sh..t…. And there are plenty of those ‘snake-oil sellers’ out there.
If you have your own sources and places to go to find out about SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY then, by all means, pursue it. Go for it. And if you feel generous please share with us where do you go for your Slow Photography inspiration.
Join the Slow Photography movement!
Join the SLOW PHOTOGRAPHY movement and become part of a community of photographers who want to make the world of photography a better place!
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