CHRISTMAS COMES - EVERYTHING ON SALE by Toni Ahvenainen

Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen. Sony Nex-5N, Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, ISO400, 1/15sec, f/3.5, Raw. Flickr account

Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen.
Sony Nex-5N, Zeiss Touit 2.8/12, ISO400, 1/15sec, f/3.5, Raw.
Flickr account

Season of Photographic Eye - picture 14
Week 51, Saturday

If 'photographic eye' is the noun for the thing I've been discussing for this whole season, then the 'photographic intention' is the verb for the same thing. Couple of post earlier I wrote about 'hunting' for circumstances and pictures that would describe my photographic eye. Now that I have thought about it more, it seems the 'intention' is even better term to describe the process where I try to come up with pictures that exemplify my personal way of seeing things.

We all have our intentions in photography that determine what we are actually hunting for. They might be for example, very specific and connected to special genre of photography, or they might be more unspoken individual preferences that one only feels in his heart. As an simple exercise I could ask myself what is the purpose of my photography? Am I, for example, trying to please as many people as possible by doing 'beautiful photographs', or am I trying to be 'different and unexpected' from the rest of the crowd. Either way, I'm a firm believer that being more aware of intentions and not photographing just by 'reacting with what comes after the corner' helps one to find ways to convey that photographic eye into his photography. Maybe it, for example, helps you to recognize your own subject better or makes it easier to pick the good ones from the ordinary, but in any case, being more aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it surely helps you to guide your way to wherever you are going with your photography.

With this new term 'intention' it is easy to describe the already familiar problem of photography. The camera is a machine that can be used to produce pictures by itself without personal intervetion - all it takes is to push a button. Photographs can be, and unfortunately often are, taken with little thought for the way they look. However, as many do agreed, photographs have tremendously more value when they exemplify the character and the eye of the photographer. What separates the good and mindless pictures is the intention, in form of awareness about it, but also as a system which guides one's work.

Capturing our family life and Aura's childhood is the most important thing in my photography, but I don't want to approach it by 'collecting everyday events and smiles' as some parents do with their cell phone cameras. The way I see it this sort of action doesn't have much of a photographic intention beyond the obvious capturing of 'events and smiles'. To describe my intention with our family pictures I would like to believe that it is possible to both capture the events and to use photographs to find deeper perspective of what our life and being is. But for this to happen I need put effort into this project by considering and reconsidering what makes our life and how it should be photographed. Using photographic means I try to introduce both feelings and interpretations of life in these pictures. In a way this intention is, if successful, the photographic eye in our family pictures.

Ps. Christmas is approaching (with a nice amount of holiday stress as always) and our local market square is full of booths selling everything from woolen stockings to fine arts. Aside of the usual booths there was a small yellow van stuffed with all kinds little things for children and others as well. To me, it had a special amount of genuine holiday spirit so I wanted to use it as seasonal picture for my project. If interested to see more, you're always welcome to pop in to Ahdin tila virtually (thanks Jasmiina!).