Inayat Ali Shah, a passionate photographer from Pakistan, is sharing his personal insight on photography as an art and a hobby. I decided to post this article because I felt touched by the way he speaks about this common passion of us all.
Let his words (and his pictures) inspire you as they have me.
Photography, like most things in life, is a synthesis of science and art. Part of it is very definite, measurable and quantifiable and follows principles, edicts and rules. The other part is elusive, nebulous, intangible and refuses any lucid and coherent definition or characterization.
Let us take the human eye, If we isolate the eye from the brain and could tap what the eye see’s before the brain perceives. All that you could see would be a cone of 50 degrees out of the eye. A circle of vision demarcated by a circular boundary. Analogous to standing in a pitch dark room and shining a torch and only being able to see what the torch illuminated. But that is not how your mind perceives it, your mind perceives it as one continuous vista and continuous panorama. The brain stitches myriads of these circular images that the eye itself catches, fuses them together. It’s not only just a single panoramic screen image that is fused together by the brain, it’s a panorama of volume, it’s a panorama in space. Everything is in focus from the tip of your nose to the far horizon.
What the human mind perceives and creates from these countless hundreds and thousands of individual image captures by the eye is a seamless, borderless, integrated vision, flawlessly fused from left to right, from top to bottom, from to back. But this image, the mental picture, the ensemble of images if then further filtered by the mind, objects refusing to render and register in the mind, irrelevancies removed, mental associations seeing things that may not be there, enhancing the desirable and diminishing the irrelevant. If one could actually could compare this mental vista of two people staring at the same scene, I doubt if both would sense and identical image, I doubt if the image could inspire identical thoughts or trigger identical emotions or spark the same intellectual processes.
The Art is to be able to perceive, identify, to see, that single image. The single image stripped embellishments, trappings and superfluity created within the mind. That single image that is the core, the essence of what you see. That will say what you want to say, speak as you wish it to seek and will trigger the mind of the beholder exactly as you wish it.
The Science is to know your camera, your tool, to manipulate, to control, to be able to capture that image exactly and precisely as you want it. Capture and preserve what your mind saw.
About Inayat Ali Shah:
By profession, he is an Avionics Engineer. However, photography grew to his heart more than a hobby. Now It’s also a part of his life. “I am now 55 years old but have had a camera with me since I was 7. My fist camera was my father’s old Kodak Box Brownie, albeit I was never able to take a single decent picture with it. I learnt black and white film processing techniques when I was 13. I cannot imagine what life would be like without a camera. If I were to put myself into a ‘Box’, and define myself as a photographer, I would call myself a humble “Backyard Documentary Artist”.
His photography evolved from simple snapshots of people and surroundings during travels, to artistic settings of things he sees and experiences. “I just do the same things I did when I was a child, only better.”
You can see his photo gallery here: http://inayatshah.deviantart.com/gallery/
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