“…detail kills imagination.”
A bit of a controversial position to take as a photographer in this day and age of digital everything – more megapixels, bigger sensors, better lenses, sharper prints… The capability is all there, but does that compel us to use it?
Most painters, except those doing photo-realistic pieces, know that the surest way to kill a painting is to try to put all the detail in it. It’s a beginners mistake. The viewer is more engaged when their perceptual system has to get involved, when it has to resolve what’s going on.
I find myself drawn to photographs that are more suggestive than descriptive for the same reason. I have to look at the photograph for a while to figure out what’s going on. Too much detail, as Whisson says, deprives me of an important facet of my experience.
Some will argue, perhaps rightly so, that photography is a unique medium because of it’s ability to capture detail and render scenes literally. They say that one should embrace this and find the artistry within that characteristic, that doing so is what it means to be a photographer. I understand this – I sometimes wonder why photo-realistic painters don’t just become photographers!
Maybe I should take up my brushes again. But until then, I’ll soldier on taking pictures that stare those damn pixels right in the eye!