All photographs on this site copyright of Antoine Boesch

one-nil, and life goes on


Just watched Switzerland (home-country) putting up an impressive show, holding Argentina to nil-nil until about 5 minutes before the end of the second half of extra time, and eventually losing one-nil. I'd meant to blog during that match, then grabbed the new issue of Polka, only for it to be unceremoniously grabbed from me and chucked away by my better half, who obviously thought she knew better and declared that I ought to concentrate on the game, for want of necessarily jumping up and down howling as she did. Little ones were also jumping up and down howling, but after nearly two hours of football it had eventually become completely unrelated to the action on screen.

Thanks to my ability to watch my home team in the World Cup whilst maintaining an even, easy pulse, I was able to gather a thought:

In past blogs I kept rattling on about how a surfeit of gadgets, gizmos, features, functions and buttons on your camera and photo editing software may give an illusion of control. Possibly more to the point, the endless possibilities thus opened up in terms of kneading and tweaking the image, raise a fundamental question: on what basis do you chose to use a particular image or editing function, and then in which way to use it ?

If all you can do is change the exposure and contrast, perhaps lightening a few dark patches, then the answer is easy enough: I edited the photo that way because I like it better.

If however the possibilities are practically endless, what does it really mean to say you like a particular outcome better than all others ?

The reality is you're likely to find yourself liking a whole bunch of (possibly quite different) outcomes just about the same, and going crazy trying to select THE ONE. Inevitably you'll start looking at those various interpretations of one picture, waiting for some sort of sign telling you which actually is the best, i.e. in objective, absolute terms.

Unless you're divinely connected that sign's never going to come - and if it did it would be a tragedy because cameras and computers could perfectly well do without us.

Punch line is: we need to surrender to constraints and imperfection because these are what drive our creativity, make us human, and give our creations the quality of art.

#portraits #editing #art #football