Fotofying – An Introduction
This blog has been left empty and quiet since I created it. Not because I didn’t feel like writing anything, but more because I wanted to focus on my Facebook page first, and because I still hadn’t totally figured out the scope and focus of the blog.
Sure, the blog will be focused on photography, but I didn’t want to keep it only focused on photography, of a couple of reasons.
First, I’m a beginner. I have only done serious (and I’m not thinking ‘professional’ here) photography since May/June this year. Others have much more to offer, when it comes to photography, than I have, even if I want to promote this as photography seen through the eyes of the beginner – which is one of the ideas.
Second, Fotofying is not only about the medium of photography, but also the subject being captured, as well as the person capturing it. I will get back to that in a second. But that means that I need to understand and decide on how I want to approach that, the subject being captured, and myself as doing this, that is, my role as the person presenting and interpreting what I capture.
I feel that I have gotten a better idea about those two points, which allows me to introduce the idea and concept of Fotofying.
So, fotofying – or photofying as it probably should be spelled in general, when not used as a name for this blog – is the idea of transforming what we, the observer, see and conceive, into an image. In this I don’t mean merely creating a photo, that’s ‘photography’ – drawing with light (from the Greek ‘photos’, light, and ‘graphé’, drawing). It is capturing the world we live in and perceive. It is more subjective, personal, insisting on putting a personal mark on what is being presented through the image. It is me, the observer, presenting the life of the streets as I view it, how I feel it, in the moment I see it. It is not objective by default, though it can be if that is what the observer, the person ‘photofying’, wants it to be. But that in itself is a subjective act, born by the desire of the observer to want it to be so, so in that act it becomes a subjective expression of how the observer, again, the person ‘photofying’, wants to present the subject being ‘photofied’ and the way it is being interpreted by the observer.
I don’t believe that anything can be fully objective. I’m not sure it should be. When I take a photo of some scene on the street – since most of my photos at this point are from the street, the photo will be based on my subjective like or dislike, my personal interest in a moment taking place in front of me. Someone else might have found it utterly lacking of any interest, and ignored it. But I saw it and put an interest in it, freezing the moment in time. That is subjective. Even if I attempt to present it without any context, the photo in itself is entirely subjective.
Of course, allowing it to be presented without any context, besides the implicit context of my subjective interest for the moment captured, is a honorable attempt to let the viewer create his/her own person interpretation of the moment captured. And that is great, that is how art often is supposed to be. But photofying is not necessarily about art, it is about expression of perception, of what we, the observers, see and understand from what we see. The danger in leaving the image without context is that we, the observers, risk that the viewers will be seeing and understanding something else, than what we wish it to be expressed. Photofying is about expression, about telling. It is both about the subject being shown, the story from the moment, but it is also about the person telling the story, and the story he/she tries to tell with the image, like a book. Therefore photofying is rarely done, or should rarely be done, without something to create and explain the context. However much that might be, or how, is up to the observer to decide. It can as little as a title, or as much as an article. It can be done in audio, as part of a video, in written form, even as a series of photos, or a combination of them all. But it needs to be done.
That is what ‘photofying’ is, and that is what Fotofying is about. The important part is that the image presented is the focus, while the context given is the supporting aspect.
Having said that, I believe that it’s important to explain why Fotofying will include subjects of photography. My camera is my tool, and photography is the theory and method used, when I photofy my life. I want to share whatever little knowledge I have, and what I will get, with others. Both because – as the saying goes – “sharing is caring”, but also because it gives a better understanding of what I’m doing. If I can share the knowledge of how to use aperture, when taking a photo, the viewer will better understand what I’m trying to do. The same if they understand the idea of using different shutterspeeds. That’s why I include subjects of photography.
But besides that, what else am I going to focus on? It has been implied already, my life – that is, what I experience, will be the focus. This will be in big and small. It can be talking about the street cats, the interactions between a shop owner and his/her customers, and it can be about the conflict between secular and religious, left and right in politics, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But it will be centered around my life. And since my life is lived in Israel, Israel will be the dominant theme for this blog, besides photography that is.
As a final note. This blog will obviously be subjective. Even the objectiveness I’ll attempt to add will in some way be subjective, since it will tell a tale about me as a person, and how I perceive the world. I won’t try to hide this fact. That said, I still believe that my subjective tale has a place in this world, and I hope that you will find it interesting to follow. It isn’t only about me, no one lives in a vacuum, so more often that not you, the reader (or viewer), will see that the tale is told through the observation of others.