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What are you photographing, Photographer?
A daily chat about a better tomorrow / #34
E: Good morning, Photographer.
P: Good morning, Economist.
E: Say, Photographer, what do you actually photograph?
P: What do you mean by "actually photograph"?
E: What do you photograph – and what not? It’s an easy question, isn’t it? How does your decision-making process work?
P: Firstly, I almost always have my camera with me. That helps me to go through the world with open eyes. Secondly, I photograph everything that makes me stumble, that looks special, at least to me. I take photos of everything I see for the first time. Basically, my photos are "first-time experiences". At least when I'm aware of myself.
E: And if not?
P: Then I photograph if I think the photo could look interesting and exciting in the end. Then I think about the result, then I'm not in the moment. Then I have an outside view and try to imagine what others could think about that photo. Then I take photos to be recognised.
E: Ain't everyone looking for acknowledgement?
P: Perhaps. But it makes a huge difference to me. This desire for recognition must not be at the centre of photography, must not be the primary driver, must not dominate the wish to take photos. This desire just doesn‘t lead to unique photos.
< silence >
P: Last weekend, I attended an exhibition about a photographer with precisely the kind of photography I love. His photos are somehow non-special and unexcited, do not crave status and recognition, and show real life in a natural and yet somehow artistic way.
E: Who are you talking about?
P: Daido Moriyama. He is from Japan, takes pictures with a camera that only costs 100 Euro, has been taking photos all his life, he is now 84, and self-publishes terrific photo albums.
E: Maybe I should take a look at the exhibition.
P: You should. It can be seen at the wonderful Berlin photography museum C/O till 7 September 2023.
E: Have a nice day, Photographer.
P: You too, Economist.
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