Wabi-Sabi # 1

January 04, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Wabi-Sabi # 1Wabi-Sabi # 1This is an image of a Chinese Fan Palm. I love these palms, and the possibility of almost abstract photography with them.
I was tempted to make a perfect - 'perfect' photograph. In the end, I decided to leave some imperfections in. Hence the name - "Wabi-Sabi" # 1


Wabi-Sabi & Slight Imperfections

I started my life in photography with black & white film. While there have been masters like Ansel Adams, Minor White and the like, I have always allowed some element of imperfection in my photographs. In the beginning, it was done somewhat accidentally, and then I decided to allow some level of imperfection in my photographs, 

When I walk around in nature, I rarely see anything that is perfect. Yet, nature, when left to itself is incomparably beautiful. Digital photography has made it easier for us to make images that seem to be perfect, or nearly so. 

Make no mistake - the images that I see are 'perfect' in many ways. The colour, composition, sharpness and even shape are all fantastic.  Fine-art or interpretative, photography allows you to edit an image and present it in a  manner that reflects how you saw the scene. 

The tools that Photoshop offers allows you to manipulate an image in a manner that mirrors your vision perfectly. It also allows you to go back to the RAW image, and re-interpret it in a completely different manner a few years down the road. This is precisely what I did with the image of the Chinese Fan Palm. 

Perfection and Imperfection

With analogue photography, it is a bit different. Once the negative has been processed, then you can manipulate the final print developing, but the negative itself remains out of reach for further change. 

Perfection is a worthy goal, and sometimes the perfect images that I see move me emotionally. Very often, they move me technically. 

Nature is imperfect. Somehow, in the play of light, colour and the slight imperfection there always lies a story that creates emotional energy. 

Sometimes, it is good to allow this imperfection to enter your images. Just enough for people to notice it, but not enough to jar. 

How far do you go in this direction? This is a difficult question to answer, and one that I will always struggle with, I think!


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