Aesthetics and other aspects of black & white photography

One thought and one question: do we create an aesthetic in photography and then become a hostage of it?

I recently read on blogs two aspects of photography that are, to a certain extent, common sense because several other people have already written about them:

(1) The significant difficulties to make a photograph, the one that carries strong emotions is guaranteed to be a great photo? The answer is no, of course. Many times a photo that you did without much effort ends up being a great photograph. Of course, this is not the rule. On the contrary, perhaps this is the exception. But, this is the reality of the facts.

(2) Will it be possible to make a spectacular photograph without at least a small direction of the photographer of the subject being photographed? My practical answer after some good years photographing rural workers under different scenarios of their activities is no. And, on behalf of the poetic license, I conclude that I have doubts if this would not be the case with most of the great photos we know of.

I can say that some of my best photographs in this project were obtained when I decided to direct them.
The point is to direct our subjects in such a way that the resulting photograph has characteristics that little or nothing resemble the fact that these subjects are posing for the photo. Of course, this aspect is the most critically difficult of a great photograph involving people.


From these and other aspects, I have a third question or restlessness for which I have no answer: have we created an aesthetic over the years and then become a hostage of it? My feelings point in a direction that yes: we become attached to this tangle, to this intricate web that is the aesthetic in photography.

Published by Antonio Mozeto

I'm an amateur photographer based in the city of São Carlos, São Paulo state, SE Brazil. I used to make photographs since I was about 15-17 years old. My first camera was a Olympus Trip, an analogue camera. Many years after that I switched to several digital cameras. Presently I own a Nikon D500 with a small set of lenses and a Fujifilm X100T 23mm. A few years after my retirement as an university professor, after teaching Environmental Chemistry at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) for 45 years, I decided to invest money and time dedicating myself more seriously to photography. I´ve taken on-line courses as well as I´ve participated to various photography festival across Brazil. By far, my biggest interest is street photography. And in it, I'm interested in portraits, everyday street scenes and architecture.

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