Sunday, September 5, 2010

Theme photography vs. stereotypes

Blur, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Blur, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Earlier I wrote about stereotypes, such as "twig photographer" or "bike photographer". But there is another side to the matter, namely themes. TOP has made a couple of excellent postings about themes, and this got me thinking.

Do I like themes? Or is it better to work without a theme, only later discovering whether such a thing exists or not?

The photographs here demonstrate a kind of theme, which I have used once in a while, and which seems to provide endless possibilities: motion blur photography. Also, a week or so ago I took photographs of various vehicles - boat, train, tram, bus, car, motorbike etc. - and it was sort of nice to have such a thing going.

Another example of a theme - decided before taking the photographs - are the SoFoBoMo books from this year, all three of them. And it was good to have a theme, to develop it further, to discover new facets of the theme.

However, generally I don't like to have a theme. I want as much freedom as possible, not limiting to one theme or topic. So I guess I'm bit of both - a photographer who likes to have a theme, and one who doesn't like to have a theme. Go figure.


Andreas said...

For last year's SoFoBoMo I had a theme, albeit a loosely defined one. This year I was more strict and I didn't finish :)

Well, it's something that I can imagine doing for some time, but certainly not all of the time. It would bore me to death.

For me, surprising myself by following my impulses is one of the big pleasures in photography. I wouldn't want to miss it.

Juha Haataja said...

Indeed - too much rigidity tends to result in shards...