“Look for excellence rather than the results of it” – Ryan Lobo

“Look for excellence rather than the results of it” – Ryan Lobo

Photography at its root is honest.  Its analog legacy is documentary, authenticity, and accuracy.  Digitally transformed, the honesty of image capture is questionable.  Regarding truth, however, photography’s quality has remained unchanged.  Each capture is a story and the storyteller is the purveyor of truth.

Consider the photograph as a frame. It’s a rectangle into which the artist decides what is included.  Ideally, each element in the frame contributes; nothing is irrelevant.  What’s more, it’s the purposeful judgment at the decisive moment of capture that edits the story.  Conceivably, two inches to the left or 5 seconds later and the story has a different moral.

Artists can make pictures, but to take them with the purpose of supplying unfiltered truth is intuitive as though thought is bypassed and feelings drive the moment.  Realistically, however, a story remains the responsibility of the teller and not the medium, the context, or even the events themselves.  We decide where to point the camera.

Photographs can feel more truthful than documentary films because they have lesser opportunities for editing.   Yet in contrast, Robert Capa’s famous “Falling Soldier”, under scrutiny for fabrication, may be just as truthful regardless of a less than honest foundation.  Many great photographers fabricate images prior to capture or post capture so. in the end. truth rests with the photographer not the photograph.

Excusing context or assigning responsibility colors photographs as well.  Those with greater experiences gain a perspective that makes it harder for those without to relate; a soldier returning from war or the photographer covering events outside our routine experiences risk becoming isolated.  Consequently, a storyteller must create an honest yet accessible relationship with the viewer.  They must pry open the receptors of the viewer through emotional connections; make them relate to the un-relatable.

Content is king, yet what’s in front of the camera, how it’s framed, and the decisive moment of capture is what tells a story.  Editing can add power to the delivery while simultaneously altering content hence reducing the truth of a story in unskilled hands.  The compassion of a story teller and the way he seeks excellence rather than pursuing excellent results, is the ultimate truth and power of the photographic medium.  - Bruce DeBoer

[all photography copyright Ryan Lobo]

In his TED presentation, photographer Ryan Lobo shares this remarkable insight and relates a few stories.

via Ryan Lobo’s Portfolio Website:

Ryan Lobo has achieved worldwide visibility through his photography, films, exhibitions and editorial magazine work.  For the last 10 years, Ryan has traveled extensively all over the world to make pictures and films that reflect a high degree of humanism, empathy and sensitivity. He is recognized as one of India’s most respected and well-known photographers.

In 2001, Ryan co-founded Mad Monitor Productions, a film and photo production company based in Bangalore and Washington DC. His films have aired on the National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel International, Animal Planet, The Oprah Winfrey Show and PBS among many other networks and Mad Monitor productions” currently manages and produces film and photo expeditions internationally.

His images/writing have been featured in magazines like Outlook traveler, Marie Claire, Elle, Tehelka, Better photography, The Wall Street Journal, GEO magazine, Time Out, National Geographic Magazine, the Boston review, Chimurenga, Onzeweruld, the Wall Street Journal and Glamour magazine amongst others. His art prints have been exhibited all over India and in Europe and he is a photographer with Tasveeer.

emotional, Photographer, Photojournalism, Storytelling

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