How many of you have ever taken a photo, but wished you could do more with it? That inevitable shot of your close friend sitting at the end of your bed seems too static. Perhaps you could turn it into a film? A quirky montage of summer happenings? But you cast this off with the feeling that the content would be too mundane.
You are not alone with these thoughts.
In the rise of the 1920s the surrealist movement couldn’t grasp the concept of Photography. How could a camera be expected to produce the experimental fortitude of another world when it was simply a tool for documenting reality? Who could blame the critics at the time who were trying to compare singular photographs to the spontaneous drip paintings of Jackson Pollock.
It could be argued that spontaneous actions just aren’t achievable through photography because you don’t have complete control over the process. You can’t realistically add any old feature in or out, nor change the location. The role of the photographer is to work with what they have to their advantage, baring in mind how this can be seen by the viewer.
If we look into our surroundings more and stop ignoring the familiar, we can see sights that are unconventional, that in essence, are surreal. Photography can morph the world and we can, if we wish, reconstruct it.
Next time when you go to photograph your close friend, who is coincidentally still at the end of your bed, change your perception. You are the only person at that moment to see that exact view. The only person to witness that band t-shirt that will one day haunt them of an unforgettable first love. It’s this familiar hardship that may just leave another person in awe.
The camera may seem to have a limited use, but its just being modest. You are the one that controls what it sees.