One of the most famous quotes by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson states that “it is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head.” There is a big difference between snapping a quick picture and capturing a scene, but what does it mean to be a conscious photographer in this age of instant sharing?
"Flower in the light" by Lisa Yates
"I love the moment when you suddenly realise that what you thought was an error in calculations became a beautiful shot."
If there is one lesson that we can learn from masters such as Cartier-Bresson, it is that taking a good picture requires all senses to be engaged. The camera isn’t just an extension of our eye, but of our whole body. Conscious photography means experiencing a place fully, whether it is through observation, smell, touch, or human interaction. Understanding the story behind the subject and crafting an image that will represent it in the most truthful possible way.
Conscious photography is not a matter of subject. Landscape, people, animals, or food can all benefit from interpretation. It is necessary to feel involved with the subject you are framing. Touch can help to get a better idea of textures, smell can convey an atmosphere while talking and listening allows you to gain a glimpse of someone’s personality and unique traits.
By Chris Watson
Photography can be far more than taking a simple snapshot through a photographic instrument. Cartier-Bresson had the innate ability to completely immerse himself in the context he was called to shoot. By living and breathing the emotions of his subjects, he developed a "photographic eye" that he used to observe his surroundings even without a camera.
Excio can be an excellent tool to train your eye in this direction. By reading the stories behind each picture, thinking about the creation process, and analyzing the choices made by hundreds of photographers to compose their shots, you can also become a more conscious photographer.
This week we invite you to share your favourite shots that you captured with heart, soul and passion. If you add a story that's a bonus! Let's make it a celebration of creativity! Submit your work here.