Content Trumps Technical Aesthetics…True or False?

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2011.

It is safe to say that there were many approaches to this subject that might have rendered a more pleasing exposure, a technically correct exposure if you will. It is also safe to say that the moment would not have existed if I had taken a second more to rethink my approach, furthermore I can also tell you I was siting under the same blinding sun, with film loaded in my camera (probably with an ASA chosen for a completely different situation in another lifetime) and an instant to consider my manual settings, while the rest of my brain capacity was still concerned over the effects the warm goat milk I just ceremonially partook might have on my long term health.

The subject is a man who has just taken his second wife, a very young girl who is not pictured, and he is being attended to by his first. This quite moment is in contrast to the celebrations that took place in the days preceding our meeting. I was invited to share in their company and what food was left from the feasting.

The photo is a success in my eyes.

That notion was reaffirmed some years ago when TIME magazine photographer James Hill selected it from an array of working photographs of Africa for a portfolio review. Hill was clearly seeking the right moment, not the perfect exposure.

I fully realize a nice blend of the two aesthetics are core to most great images, and furthermore practiced by almost all working professionals. In reality we are often at the mercy of the elements, the situation, and our equipment, or lack there of.

My point is a great photo should not be judged at first glance by its technical proficiency, but rather its core content, the emotion, or spontaneity of the event captured in that instant. In the digital age we are furthermore inundated with well exposed, highly saturated images, aesthetic elements which in my mind play second fiddle to subject and composition.

Do you feel that the later is just as important, or can a good photo be soft, blurry, or poorly light and still deliver the same punch?

There is no clear answer, no single opinion, but instead I think this is a nice conversation piece, and a fundamental question we will almost always revisit as photographers, journalist and artists.

I welcome your input. – Jeremy

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207th Post…

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2011. All Rights Reserved.

I have been directing so much energy in to my new PhotoShelter Photography archive and posting about it, that I simply overlooked the fact that we had passed the 200th post. A milestone that I am excited to share…over two hundred posts on photography, travel, and the ongoing projects surrounding my own photojournalism career.

So…with that said I present the 207th post!

I give a warm welcome to those who are recently stumbling on to the site, and many thanks to those who have continued to support this photography forum over the years! Stay tuned as we roll into 2011 and all that lies ahead…

Many Thanks go out to my readership, Jeremy

Exposure: An Online Perspective.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010. All Rights Reserved.

The Open Shutter Gallery has a live link to the upcoming photography exhibit EXPOSURE. If Durango is not in your neck of the woods then perhaps you will enjoy this preview of Friday nights opening show.

This image of a worker trimming his beard on a construction project in the Namibian desert was selected by exhibition juror Phil Borges for an Award of Excellence. Seven Awards of Excellence were presented along with Best of Show, Best of Color and Best of Black & White.

Enjoy the images!

Cheers, Jeremy

Open Shutter Gallery: Exposure


The Open Shutter Gallery in Durango, Colorado presents EXPOSURE, a juried photography exhibition. The show opens on Friday night, March 26th, with images from around the world selected by the show’s Juror Phil Borges in conjunction with the Open Shutter Gallery. This should prove to be a very diverse and compelling exhibition of images, both in subject and style – Hope to see you there!

Click HERE for details and directions.

Cheers, Jeremy

AntiDull Art Magazine

A man trims his beard on a construction site while coworkers slumber nearby in the heat of the afternoon, Namibia.

A woman makes her daily commute on the underground Metro system, Washington, DC.

Men pass the afternoon with a game of Mancala in the narrow streets of Stonetown, Zanzibar.

These are scenes of “everyday life” taken from around the globe. Perhaps they also act as “statements” …..for me they are documentary, they are my memories, experiences and often times a record of my direct and indirect contact within the environments I have chosen to explore. “Moments”….. captured. The beautiful reality of photojournalism!

AntiDull magazine, an online art and photography publication has recently published a few of my images. I encourage you to check out their site link HERE.

The most recent issues, one dedicated to Photojournalism and the other Fashion, were both released yesterday. Online media will perhaps be the “press” of tomorrow. AntiDull’s commitment to an “advertisement free” environment will hopefully continue to attract talented photographers and artists from around the globe as the publication continues to grow and inspire!

Enjoy the Magazine! -Jeremy

Above Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2008. All Rights Reserved.