In “The High Concept Image,” a recent feature in Outdoor Photographer, nature photographer Ian Plant intelligently challenges photographers to capture creative, thoughtful images that move beyond “snapshots,” rising to the level of “art.”
Ian’s description of the high concept image is in contradistinction to the “low-concept image,” which he points out is generally more “documentary” or “literal” in nature. Seeing nothing wrong with such grab shots, he does, however, push photographers to look for new ways to depict the world. He invokes legendary photographer Minor White, who once said “One should photograph objects not only for what the are but for what else they are.”
In his thought-provoking “how-to” piece, Ian offers six techniques to create high concept images:
- Don’t just record your subject; instead, capture a theme, concept or story.
- Move your feet and seek novel compositions and juxtapositions.
- Don’t just chase “magic hour” light; chase expressive light.
- Use weather and color to create mood.
- Wait for the decisive moment.
- Go with the flow with long exposures.
This got me to thinking about my own photography. Below I offer my the first of my two-part commentary—perhaps you could call it an addendum–to Ian’s great lead. If you have read my columns in the past, you may see one or two photos I have utilized previously; here, however, I will explore my images with respect to the tenets of “high concept” photography. Read More >>
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