Sunday, September 2, 2012

Organic Random Photography

It was in 2010 when I first tried a technique which I like to call “Organic Random Photography” (ORP) where I first take “analogue” pictures and make sure to expose the film with only 50% of the actually needed light quantity.  When all 36 (or 24) pictures have been taken, I rewind the film (albeit not completely), put it back into either the same or another camera and take yet another 36 (or 24) pics, again 50% underexposed.  The result is a blend of at least two completely unrelated photos (if the borders of the pics are not perfectly aligned it might even be a blend of three photos).  The fun - and risk! - lies in the fact that when taking the “overdub” pictures I do not know whether I am just destroying or as hoped enriching some really good shots.

The reason I started trying this technique is my belief that our creativity is by nature very limited (geniuses aside).  That said, I am convinced that every one of us is born as a creative individual.  Picasso once said:  “Every child is an artist; the problem is to remain an artist once he grows up”.  But no matter how original you are in your writings, paintings, compositions, pictures etc., there is a limited distance one will be able to go and before too long we run the risk of start repeating ourselves.  And what is worse: even if we’ ve just created something extraordinary - most of us will probably feel that someone else has already done it before!

“If I can’ t be the first to try something new at least I can play a trick on my limited creativity by playing with chance”, or so my thinking went.  You can call this approach utterly uncreative.  I might even agree.  However what if the result is something more original than anything I could have come up with intentionally (or shall I say: “consciously”) ? And because it is coincidence or my subconscious rather than a computer that “randomly matches” the pictures, I consider this to be an “organic” process.  Hence the name “Organic Random Photography”. 

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