Are you watching closely? / by Lionel Samain

I usually don't fancy scholia and explanations about photography, but I was thinking recently that I could share some thoughts, from time to time, about  how the craft of making pictures mesmerizes me. I'm not really a talkative person, so I guess this will be mostly images.

irst of all, technical considerations don't interest me much. As a professional photographer, I master the required skills to carry out the job and the art, but talking over it, appears, on one hand, blunt  and on the other, distracting from what eventually matters: the slide move towards unreality. Let me quote Christopher Priest (one of my favorite writers) about magic and I hope you'll find the analogy with photography relevant: "The audience knows the truth. The world is simple, miserable, solid all the way through. But if you can fool them, even for a second... then you can make them wonder".

To make them wonder should be the only aspiration for a picture, by all means but one exception: don't cheat with your audience's amazement. Reduce post production to the bare minimum  and prefer to perform all the photographic tricks on shooting. Always looking for the "organic" cheats with reality. I feel that photography touches true magic when it's running without computer generated artifices, even if if I'm comfortable with retouching in general. I mean I don't blame anyone using it but I get the feeling that it's in someway less impressive than a "live" trick. That's what makes me tripping. 

(Illustration: A modest and litteral example of my credo, from a campaign made for a wall paper company Hooked On Walls, some times ago)