No people allowed

November 10, 2017

 

People presence, who wouldn't agree that it's one of the most powerful elements in a photo, isn't it? or isn't it?  If you look carefully at my portfolio, you'll find that no human is present in any of my photos. This may come as a surprise to many since a huge percentage of the photos worldwide include, or, should I say, rely on the human presence in a photo.

 

Excluding people from my artworks was one of the most profound decisions I've made while molding my photography style and personal vision. But don't get me wrong, I too rely on human presence in my photography but not as an actual part of a photo. I rely on us humans solely as observers, as the other end of where I reach to communicate my artworks. But why did I make such a decision?

Without a doubt, once we decide to include a person in a photo, they become not just a strong element in it but the strongest one, they become dominant. Either as a forefront element or a vague one, in almost all photographic themes, us humans play the leading role in what a photo represents. Some may state that photos that don't include people in them are not powerful enough, they are just a stage and nothing more. I'm far against that statement. This may sound controversial but as much as I reckon the value of a person in a photo, at the same time I prefer not to include one in them.

 

The main reason is because I prefer to invite the observer in the frame, to make him wander around in it, to be a part of it, to experience and sense the atmosphere that a photo emits. The observer should not feel like playing a second part in an image, so, he shouldn't be an outer element. As my artworks are all about atmosphere and mood, I've made the decision to enhance this intention in a Zen-like way, that is by relying on the absence of the human factor in the frame but at the same time induce it through the eyes of the observer.

 

Also, this "omission" gives us the freedom to think about the scene through our own prism of interpretation. In a way, the observer becomes the ruler of the setup, he is invited to create an utterly subjective version of what he sees, probably far from what the photographer wants to transmit. This way, the photo inherits interactive attributes that probably cannot be obtained under the dominant presence of a person in the frame.

 

In any case, choosing to "omit" the human presence in my photos is a crucial part of my creation process. It frees me from certain rules and prerequisites of composition and in the end, it lets me create photos in a more transcendental way. It's only me and the scene around me and this lets many thoughts and fancies to be born...

 

 

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© 2019 - Teo Kefalopoulos