The Photographer of Modern Life | James Conley

By | December 30, 2014

Unlike other visual arts, the sine qua non of photography is that you have to be there. Photography demands presence, and wanderlust is not only a common affliction of photographers, but necessary for its practice. Wanderlust doesn’t have to be grand trips to exotic locations, however. “Travel” for a photographer is better thought of as any space in which the photographer works. The key to successful seeing is to treat those spaces as all the same. It’s impossible to develop your artistic skills of surreal seeing if you only do it under specific circumstances. Instead, treat your art with respect wherever you are. Creativity exists at the crossroads of conscious action and surreal thought. We create art when we’ve placed ourselves in a place which not only matches our surreal thoughts, but allows us to capture them. Like the practice of any other activity about which we care, there are discrete things we can do to increase the likelihood of matching our surreal, artistic ideas with situations unfolding before us. Our method for increasing this likelihood is to practice being a Photographer of Modern Life, and we designed our Street Psych courses around the fundamental concept that the world around us at any given moment is beautiful, and worthy of observation…..

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