Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The gaze of a five and a half year-old girl with camera

I have come to the realization that the visual/digital revolution is not for people over fifty. These pictures were taken by my five and a half year old daughter and I feel the winds changing so fast I have to steady myself and perhaps run to the nearest mast in this ship to tie myself down before I might be blown away. It is not that the pictures are overwhelmingly wonderful, it is that they have an air of undefined modernity hard to describe outwardly but easy to feel inwardly. They speak a different language to the one I learnt thirty five years ago of film cameras, and carefully composed portraits, and landscapes and scenes that were appealing and, well...nice.
Is it possible that I have been poisoned by the ultra-modern trends championed by gallery curators and trend-setting art journalists all over these modern times and now feel out-of-synch?
Maybe, but, it is just that I feel exactly the same way when I examine my 16 year-old students' work, sometimes, when they are good and thought-provoking and well constructed, even if they look as though they were taken as an afterthought or a chance encounter with un/reality...
Enough said.

1 comment:

Voice said...

I teach photography to kids ranging from 5 to about 10 years old. I completely identify with your observation...even when the kids take a fantastic photograph--and I am constantly amazed at how often this happens--there is a different relationship between photographer and photograph now. Perhaps it is because, with digital cameras and computers, we can erase a mistake instantly, alter a photo 10 different ways in 10 seconds, and process, edit, and print in a matter of minutes. But we don't need to spend the same amount of time and effort on any single photo.

I think it's an exciting time for photography. But we need to be wary of it losing it's relevance, its artistic qualities, and just becoming another easily created, disposed, and re-created medium. The accessibility of it now is really a boon to us all. That's the part I try to focus on.