25 Apr On the edge of seeing

Source: Olafs Photoblog

In the last few months I had the privilege of meeting many interesting photographers and visual thinkers – some well-known, others pioneering new ideas and imagery away from the spotlight of social media.

One theme that often entered our conversations was the idea of “destination” or “balance” in photography. In other words, we tried to answer the question whether it was possible to reach a state of photographic being, when one felt the most creative, productive and satisfied with their work. Does such a place exist? If it does, is it a good place to be?

There are two distinct viewpoints.

First, some photographers argue that the best way to approach photography is to find a sort of balance. That would be a state of mind which is comfortable and attuned to seeing and enjoying photography. It is a place, once reached, that a photographer doesn’t want to leave. Some go even further and argue that once a photographer achieves such visual bliss, it should be embraced and nurtured. Imagery produced in this state is in the comfort zone of the photographer and is usually popular and well-regarded by a wide audience. There is no question that such an approach has a broad appeal and a sweetness to it which is difficult to refuse.

The second way of approaching the craft of seeing is much more tumultuous and difficult to define. For the sake of argument let’s describe it as out-of-balance. Interestingly, as I talk to many great photographers and

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