Looking through RedBubble, it’s interesting to see the differences in how different artists approach their photography. I’ve begun to notice that RedBubble really is a haven for the more “out there” photography, the kind of art that may not win traditional competitions, but breaks the rules or is a real expression of the artist.
While some people walk the line between both, it seems that often you are a conceptual photographer, or the kind that tries to find a photo anywhere. I belong to the latter group. I love waiting for moments to just happen, to find great photos in banal settings, or to go and photograph something quite common that every now and then becomes brilliant, through chance lighting or a rare interaction.
Even in my pet photography I rebel against setting up the animals into poses or pushing them into studio settings. I prefer to wait for the moments and the expressions to happen naturally and spontaneously. With my zoo photography, it is a buzz to be the only one left waiting for something to happen while the rest of the crowd got bored and left.
It’s sometimes difficult to wait for moments to just happen. There’s no guarantee they will obviously, and time is money. All my favourite shots though have happened out of the blue or without planning, and that gives me the most satisfaction.
It seems one of my most popular photos on RedBubble is this one:
This was a fluke. Taken at a Zoo, this Gorilla was mesmerised by some bubbles being blown by the visiting children. For about a minute there was real silence in the enclosure as the human children and young Gorilla both watched the same bubble float above them and then both visibly smiled when it popped. Somehow this feels more special than if I’d been able to wave a fruit over the top of the Gorilla’s head to manipulate the expression.
Another one is this – my favourite Lion shot. This moment between two brothers only lasted about a minute but it’s not often you get to witness a moment of tenderness between animals normally depicted as ferocious killers.
Even this portrait of my dog which turned out to be my favourite of him was taken without planning. In fact as I took it I was joking to a friend about how he likes to pose and wait for the click of the shutter. Without planning or intention, I managed to capture what I think really expresses his personality.
I suppose even those images of mine that may appear set up, never were. This shot (which is always linked in my head as the thematic equivalent of the Grandaddy song in the description) was also just a candid, but it was easy to see at the time the universal appeal of ‘man against the world’.
I can equally see the fun of conceptual shots. Bringing to life the vision in your head must be difficult and fraught with frustration at times!
I wonder how many people enjoy both types of photography, or do most people stick to one type?