November 18, 2007

Lloyd Hugues is with us

He's special, he's inspired, he's gifted, beyond the "photographically" correct, always authentic and so original. Here is Lloyd Hughes.

"Mary one"
Model Mary

You'll find Lloyd Hugues at deviantART, his live-journal, MySpace,

From his site :

Lloyd Hughes was born in the relatively small Australian city of Perth, and it is here that he continues to reside.

He took a keen interest in photography when he picked up his fathers old polaroid camera and his even older 35mm film slr camera. With these dusty and rusty pieces of equipment, he experimented with the magic and power of film and out of this grew a strong passion for photography that continues to grow to this very day.

"Morning after"
Model Hayley

Although having had no formal training in photography, this has allowed Lloyd to be free of any rules and regulations and has allowed him to harbour unrestricted creativity out of real raw life experiences rather than sterile classroom taught information.

His work is often described as strangely and interestingly cropped and composed, bursting with eye-catching colour, having a touch of innocence, a touch of retro, new and fresh, but above all visually stimulating.

Lloyds main aim with photography is to continuely push himself to new and exciting boundries and to experiment with this vast artistic medium.

"The crow is waiting"
Model Tegan

His difficulties with the critiques :

"Looking in"
Model Kittin

I think the whole critiquing photography/art thing is absurd.
It's easy to critique mathematics. A teacher can critique a students mathematics by simply using a calculator which gives out definate numerical answers. It's simply wrong or right.

People seem to bring this mind set to photography though which is impossible because it's not about numbers, it's about emotion, and there are no definitive right and wrong answers to emotion. It's not robotic.

When people judge a photo they can either like it, hate it, love it but the important question in all of this is why ?

"Coffee seven"
Model Tegan

Why do people tell me they love a particular photo of mine in a series and others tell me it's shit and me personally think that there are better photos in the series ? The answer I believe is life experiences.

We have to all realise that the way we feel about a photo says more about you rather than the photographer.

People constantly tell me what they think is wrong with my photography, what would have been better, but this comes from a self-centred place in which their own personal visual pleasures have to be gratified. I want my photos to be about me, not about you and your preferences. If you hate the fact that the model looks void of emotion, then maybe this is what I wanted, maybe this actually says something about me as a person, as a photographer, as a human with my own life experiences.

"Black bench one"
Model Tegan

"Black bench two"
Model Tegan

If I asked everyone to take a photo of what life means to them, everyone isn't going to have exactly the same photo. Some will have perfect photos, some will have imperfect photos, some will show pain, others laughter, and in a critique of all these photos the person who took a photo of the beautiful flowers in a perfect forest with people holding hands wearing flawless make-up will likely be critiqued to hell by those who took photos of people suffering and dying in some war-torn country where the make-up is worn not to look stunning but to camouflage and blend in with the surrounds. But neither photo is right or wrong, they just come from different minds.

"Libby 3"
Model Libby

If a 2 year old took an imperfect photo of a cat you wouldn't tell them it looks like shit. You wouldn't say "hey this would have looked so much better if you followed the rule of thirds and exposed for the highlights. And there's absolutely no detail in these shadows. Oh and cats ? I'm so over photos of cats !"

For me I would look at this photo and smile and say "Your view of this cat and how you captured it comes from a place where everything around you looks amazing, everything is beautiful. I wish I could see this cat through your eyes. When you grow up I hope you look at this photo and rememeber how it was."

I guess the whole point of this is to remember that when you're critiquing someones photography just realise that their photos are about them and not about you and what you think will make the photo look better in your own eyes.

"Floating on a sea of envy"

"Leaves four"
Model Mary

I'm not saying to stop giving me critiques, far from it, but if you want to voice your opinion on my photography tell me how the photo makes you feel emotionally, tell me why you feel this way, tell me about your life experiences, try to connect with me on an emotional level, but remember, don't tell me to change my photography because I won't. It's what makes me me, and not you.

Maybe if you started each critique with "from my own life experiences and my own emotions, I think this photo would appeal to my own personal taste more if..." Haha it sounds stupid but...

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