The Poetry of Light – fine art photography


So, documentary fine art photography is all about capturing the ‘truth’ in a moment of a particular unfolding narrative.  Right?  Well, it depends.

Sometimes you have to tell a few ‘white’ lies, and be ‘economical’ with the truth to pursue your vison of art for that subject, which may not just appear in an inspirational moment at the time you depress the shutter.

Take for instance my previous comment below: a typical postcard image of a jetty on Thirlmere, in the Lake District.  A perfectly exposed and composed image taken in the ’Golden Hour,’ while on a camping holiday.  But fine art photography sometimes needs a little quirkiness or surrealism to make it stand out from the plethora of phone pic ‘selfies’ and holiday beauty spot snaps that swamp social media, now that everyone is a ‘photographer.’

What’s the answer then?  Well, after the first night’s camp, I spotted an old red telephone box, and got out of the car to take a pic.  Then I noticed a Herdwick sheep (only indigenous to the Lake District), grazing nearby with two of its black young lambs.  It’s easy to tell how old Herdwicks are as they’re born black and remain that colour for a year.  Then turn brown after their first shearing, until they eventually go greyish in colour as they become a mature adult. 

I took a shot of mother and lambs, and then waited for the two lambs wander away a short distance, as they were in a playful mood.  They then climbed up onto a small rocky outcrop on the hillside.  There was no dramatic moment or inspiration, but I took the pic anyway.  11 years later, while reviewing my images for the redesign of this website, I had that moment of artistic vision, and that’s when I cut one of the lambs out of the image, and placed it by the jetty, creating a conceptual composition.

So, a little ‘white’ lie?  Yes!  But sometimes artists have to stretch both their imagination, and when necessary, the truth.