Generation X

Untitled, originally uploaded by Emmanuel Smague.

Larger here.

This is the one-thousandth image posted on Picture Post, which seems like a reasonable excuse to reflect.

It’s been pretty hard work keeping the momentum up on top of all the other things going on in my life! I’ve posted an average of between 3 and 4 images a day since I started last May. But it’s been a very pleasurable journey too – for me at least. I hope other people have enjoyed their visits.

Going through the process has made me realise that there’s a LOT of talent out there. Most of it goes unrecognised by the world at large. Not everyone has a name like David Bailey or Damien Hirst – a name that opens wallets and doors. But that is not ultimately what art is about. Art is about expression and communication, and has nothing intrinsically to do with the cult of celebrity. All that cult of celebrity stuff belongs to the age of broadcasting and mass media.

We are witnessing the dawn of a new age: the age of the amateur; fuelled by the digital revolution and the associated democratisation of distribution channels. It is happening everywhere (music, visual art, bookmaking, social networking and blogging to name but a few) but nowhere is it more apparent than in the realm of photography. Digital cameras are now ubiquitous and easy to use. Anyone can publish their photos online. Anyone can, with a bit of dedication and raw talent, become a great photographer.

So, farewell to the gatekeepers and the traditional barriers to entry – and long live photography, a true art form for the masses.

For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.

To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

To take a photograph means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second– both the fact itself and the rigorous organisation of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.

It is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

4 Responses to “Generation X”

  1. Jade Says:

    I have enjoyed looking at your selection of beautiful, inspiring and interesting pictures very much, thanks for putting in the effort – I figured it was nice to tell you how much it is appreciated! Your blog makes my day that bit brighter.

  2. picturepost Says:

    Thank you for the note Jade – and it’s lovely to know that Picture Post is brightening up your day! 🙂

  3. Lip Says:

    Thank you for your effort.

    The beautiful pictures you posted of different photographers work keep one really inspired! 😀

  4. picturepost Says:

    Thanks Lip – glad you are enjoying! 🙂

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