The Snapshot Aesthetic

I’ve been using Olympus XA2 for quite some time now and have been mulling over how zone focusing allows me to compose more quickly.

I happened to come across the lesser-known Minolta AF-C and yes, it’s auto-focus.

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Load it with Kodak UltraMax 400 and it’s pure joy if you’re pursuing a snapshot aesthetic.

You could focus really quickly and the saturated colours would work for those with a taste for lomography.

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The word “snapshot” hints of amateurism, and I suppose it goes against the conventional rules of professional photography concerning proper framing and lighting, etc.

There’s a scholarly article here on how the snapshot aesthetic is being used to persuade in advertising photography.

You could say that commercial photographers have appropriated the style of the amateurs.

The entire style (and persona) of Terry Richardson, right down to his use of non-professional cameras, is based on this approach.

On the other hand, it also has also allowed the work of folks like Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand to be taken seriously by the establishment.

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Me, I like the reds and greens.

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I suppose there’s something covert about street photography in that it is aligned with the transgressions of street art.

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It’s true that I tend to take photographs of people in candid moments.

When I’m in the zone, I’ve become quite adept at reading body language and tracking eye movements…

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Though sometimes, non-humans are fascinating too.

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So are serendipitous arrangements of objects that “make sense” and cohere.

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I’m making a point to look for “found exhibitions”.

After all, the entire world is an exhibition if you know how to look.


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