The sun is shining but you wouldn’t believe what comes next!
Flash has been the new trend since couple years ago.
And the camera in automatic.
It’s the most radical experience I had.
And I’ll not talk about the amount of photographers who make their lives taking advantage of disabled and homeless people to have a feature in the new zines. “Can I take a picture of your scars? It’s to create awareness, a project I’m doing for a zine. I feel you. Your scars are beautiful”. Yes, scars can be beautiful and one should accept and love their body and their signs of life.
Thing that they don’t even ask to homeless people, they just shoot from afar. “it’s cool, I’m creating awareness”, they say.
I talked with couple new photographers who have been featured on some new zines because I don’t understand their pictures. Note that I always use the term photographs when they’re thoughtful and qualified for the term. I respect photography enough to not call this new trend other than pictures. So until the day I understand them, I will call them pictures. Not photographs.
It’s obvious the fact that everyday there are better cameras, and today’s teenagers were born playing with laptops and cameras… while we were born paging books and creating on papers with crayons. It’s the evolution from teenagers to screenagers. But it’s good if they climb up trees so they can take photos of them with the knees wounded and bleeding afterwards. At least they manage to climb trees. Even though they do it with a remote trigger. Or photoshopping the trees. Or them on the trees.
But let’s not get lost. Flash. And the camera in automatic.
I talked with couple photographers. Screenagers. To understand this trend on photography. All raw like god created humans, so they could be polished by others. No, not RAW as option, for that they use JPG because they don’t even know what RAW means. They take with flash or not, because it’s in automatic so they have no control.
Oh that’s it. They have no control; they like it as if they were on drugs and don’t want to waste their trip. Radical stuff.
“I just put the camera in automatic and I shoot. I don’t want to waste time with techniques and rules: I want to feel, so I let the camera to do what it’s programmed to do: shoot. This while I’m feeling the thing.”
Yeah. Of course that if you hold your pee for 2 hours to take a picture of it coming out to the toilet, you want to feel the pee and don’t want to even take your time to look at the viewfinder. Viewfinder is something completely irrelevant in a camera. In fact, people are buying the top cameras and lenses, to use them in automatic because they want to feel. Feel the weight? Put the camera in the automatic? Flash the feeling?
I decided then to follow their expertise on feeling (aka lack of knowledge) and take myself some photos in the early morning while my brain wasn’t wake up yet before the coffee, to be on the same level of… feeling. I put the heaviest camera I had on Automatic and hold it in my left hand. I ignored the viewfinder. As I ignored all the rest.
It’s always good to break the rules after we master them. You don’t even need to know them, just break whatever rule is.
Why are so many photographers worried and spending time in knowing the rules and gear anyway? What a waste of time when you can just feel while the camera is in automatic…
I had to do it. You know that the best way to understand things is to do them. So you can feel. Before the coffee, still sleeping I grabbed the camera, (I left the camera without cap so I didn’t have to waste my time thinking about it so I could just feel), put in automatic and ignored everything else to just feel the moment. I didn’t have time to take a picture to me peeing because I was too much in a rush for it and forgot the camera. I wanted to feel the pee. That’s why I forgot the camera. So after that intense moment of feeling, I grabbed the camera and went to prepare the coffee. Taking photos with the camera in my left hand because I needed to feel whatever I was doing with my right hand. Preparing the coffee with my left hand would turn into a major disaster in the kitchen. Yes, I missed the opportunity to shoot the coffee on the floor, me feeling cleaning it and feeling picking up the broken glasses of the coffee thing while walking on them cutting my feet to feel the bleeding pictures. I passed those moments of awareness.
So here’s the result of my morning experience in automatic since I woke up at a friend’s house. Trying to feel, ignoring the whole rest. All this, to create awareness of the morning, the automatic mood, the flash and the act of peeing (the one that I missed).
But hey, I came back there to take a picture while faking that I was peeing.
What came out will blow your mind: the feeling of the toilet paper on a wall of tiles.
Now feel this:
ok, I’m exhausted now. I felt too much all these things.
The coffee is ready and I need to feel it deep in my throat. And a cigarette too.
Did you feel it? Can I go read my book now?
(NB – all these pictures were taken in automatic with the camera on my left hand while feeling things with my right hand ignoring the viewfinder so I could understand contemporary photography. I didn’t accomplish that part though).
Autistic Solitude vs. Loneliness: B Shot by a Stranger.
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“The Sacred Book of G” is a stream of consciousness, a thought provoking intimate journal written by Gonzalo Bénard. After 3 days of brain death he reborn with a deep loss of memory. He reborn without any sense of his past — of his own roots — of his own self. Before that he’d spent his time creating defences to disguise his autism. He had lost it too. New born G had no memory and no defences.
“I, Energy” is a book on Cosmic Consciousness, Quantum Physics and Old Shamanism written by Gonzalo Bénard who not only lived in Himalayas with shamans and in a Buddhist monastery but also in the Western Sahara with old shamans. A guide on healing and transcendental meditation and how you can master your own mind, leading yourself the collective consciousness.
Gonzalo Bénard is a lecturer, author, tutor of autistic teenagers, and a visual artist.His photography has been part of the annual programs of several universities around the world, mainly about the series Oneness, Nudes and B Shot by a Stranger, and are in several private and public art collections such as Museum of Serralves, Cultural Centre of Cascais or Sir Elton John’s.
His photographs are also being used in Hollywood productions and TV series and you can see his work of photography at his webpage.
Follow @GBenard on twitter for daily updates.