Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Insights From Analog Photographs

I just returned from vacation and while away I had the opportunity to see not one, not two, but three photography exhibits! None of the visits to the exhibits had been planned ahead of time; they just happened to be in the cities we went to at the time we went. And there is nothing like seeing prints 'in person' as opposed to just in a book. So what did I get to see?

I was able to visit the "Migrations" exhibit by Sebastiao Salgado, a combined exhibit of  Robert Capa in conjunction with a large retrospective exhibit of the work of Elliott Erwitt, and a museum collection that included works by Steiglitz and Steichen. How can you go wrong with those? They were fantastic!

I made some interesting observations viewing the prints, at least they seemed interesting to me. They were beautiful  images. And most of them weren't sharp....well they weren't 'unsharp', but they also weren't the ultra-sharp images that we tend to produce today, particularly when pixel peeping. Not when you got in relatively close (the images were not huge either). And apparently these greats of photography weren't as concerned about maintaining detail in the shadows as many, myself included, seem to be today.  But the images really 'spoke'.

There is a lesson in there somewhere, not the least of which is that the content is far more important than absolute technical perfection (though I am sure that the 'technical perfection' that we can reach today is greater than it was in the analog photography world).

And don't be afraid of the color black.

by Howard G

© Howard Grill