Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Why we should avoid Social Media...

Well put it another way, how beneficial is social media to your own art, your style or interpretation of photography or the medium in which you photograph your subject.

Whilst we are now evolving into yet another year, I cast my memory back to those heady days of glitzy colour, or rather the colours used to highlight the historical event known as the Millennium.

Many photographers or even graffiti artistes would of witnessed first hand the symbolic alphanumeric 'Y2K' emblazoned on many walls around the world, and to emphasise also that the new millennium was going to be impending doom for all of us.

Yet nothing has really changed, it is only the mechanical and kinetic perpetual workings of a clock that serve to remind us that we are not free of who we truly are or what we can be. Today I watched a documentary film about the work of Sebastiao Salgado with a very significant interpretation of the work by photographer and writer John Berger.

In retrospect we can ask ourselves a question, which could be construed as an rhetorical question, "Have we learned anything of ourselves, have we learned anything of humanity?"

In the film we hear the descriptive introduction of the photographer, and we learn that he trained as an economist,  this raised my eyebrows somewhat, I was intrigued how someone who was obviously well educated could turn to art and in particular photographic art, the transition was certainly on a par with how Joel Meyerowitz came into photography by following Robert Frank on an assignment around New York.

In all honesty I have learned about this through the medium of literature, but what about digital media, if you want to improve your skills on subject matter and composition should we stay away from social media.

That very point was raised by my own tutor, before the Christmas break, try and read more about photographers in books rather than use the Internet to grab a few pointers, however I follow another photographer and blogger who also touches on this very subject.

He also shoots a lot of street photography, Eric Kim is certainly known to those in the know of the very fine art, we indulge in. His unique informative style of blogging helps us to learn and to grow as photographers; we should be doing this all the time.

I love a challenge as a street photographer, I have come across those that would argue what your doing is not right why photograph the street. I was challenged by such a man outside a restaurant one time in Liverpool, was by all accounts a complete and utter fool.

By suggesting I cannot photograph in a public place, was ridiculous. We live in a democracy; Don't we?

They're those would disagree, in a film I have also watched the photographer Joel Meyerowitz openly talks about the fact that the then Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani had ruled and had ordered New York's finest to stop anyone taking photographs of one of the most horrific events in human history, 9/11.

Of course the photographer, smiled back politely realising that this decision was absurd. How could we not record history, in a ways looking into that very book of the 9/11 aftermath, I remember a decision by one Americas' Presidents that would blow Mayor Giuliani's decision out of the water.

Dwight D. Eisenhower could not believe his eyes when he witnessed the horror of the holocaust and so with that ordered many to document the event so as to prove to the world, that the horror of the second world war had truly happened.

Those events or rather the images of those events have inspired many photographers amateur and professional alike to go and hunt for a story, to create a new perspective. To document world history, or to document your local town or city, in the belief that something no matter how insignificant or extraordinary should be photographed.

The Internet is a great tool for finding out about human history, it's just such a shame that some of it becomes distorted and meaningless. People nowadays or I should say those who were born in the new millennium would have been taught a different history than the one, I learned when I was at school.

Certain factors are kept a secret, so by that statement we should ask ourselves, why was Mayor Giuliani, trying to prevent people from photographing the aftermath of such an horrific event in Americas' history?

I would like to know why, as would others. Is this why we should avoid the Internet as photographers so we can learn from books? The Internet is there for everyone, we do learn from social media too. We learn of how someones time-line can become an incessant noise of "oh silly me, I tripped over my husbands arse, as he playing blind drunk yet again", to "my cat died and am so sad". These events become futile and meaningless, but to those involved it can be something which defines their very existence.

I have become bored of Facebook purely because that incessant noise, is just that incessant noise. However, sometimes we discover such events that can lead to a full blown story, take for example the scathing attack on the outstanding British diver Tom Daley; who was attacked online after the loss of his father.

He was also the subject of yet another hate campaign when he came out, shame in reality. But that is just the point the social media outlet has become just that, it is a vile and disgusting place for anyone.

So that brings me to the point of exercise, as photographers should we avoid social media, I don't think so it's a great way of getting your work out there. However do try to get your work into an exhibition, or even create your own book.

For now though am going to leave with this piece of music, I love the rhythm of the guitar and the kick of the drum. Great for listening too on your way to a street shoot.

Bad River; Endless Boogie

See ya laters!