Even for pros out there in the field who have been doing this for a very long time, the question of photography’s undeniable hold over us all is one that will probably never be resolved. It’s true: there is a natural, almost animalistic attraction to the still image. That’s probably why advertisers bombard us with hoards of them every day. In an attempt to get us closer to the answer to this almost existential question, Maysles Films, directors Rebecca Dreyfus, Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan have gotten to close and personal with some of the most prolific photographers in the industry. Gathering thoughts on the craft from this many different perspectives opens up many ways of seeing. Sylvia Platchy, Andrew Moore, Gregory Crewdson, Miru Kim, and Jay Maisel offer (often contradictory) insight into what makes a great image and tips on how to develop your own style.
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It’s documentaries such as this that give you the feeling that something really special can happen at any moment, if only you’re there to capture it. Early on, director/photographer Albert Maysles makes a point about “getting close”–and not just in the spatial sense of the word. He’s speaking to a more spiritual connection, where he is attempting to get into “the heart and mind of the person…” Exploring this through the diverse lens of his contemporaries, we are able to understand the ways in which an image can be everlasting, preserving a moment through history. Photography is a ticket into lives and spaces that either go forgotten or went unnoticed. As we know, this can be a pretty big responsibility, but an inspiring one at that. What are you waiting for?! Get out there, grab your camera and start shooting. You never know what you could be missing at this very moment.
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