Expression or Impression – by Anton Candra

(written within the scope of photography as an artistic material.)

Defining whether some pictures are good (or not), always lies inside our perception. That is what I think would mainly influence us to determine whether certain pictures worth to keep.

In some occasions when I took some pictures and planned to post it for everyone to see, I’d often wonder : do I need a little credit for those pictures I have just taken? Because I would love to hear someone actually said my pictures suit their liking. This kind of thought would presumably influence the way I shoot, the one dangerous mindset of which I previously unaware …… striving for recognition.

Girl & her dog - Huang He, Zhengzhou. Henan Province.

Have you ever posted your-selfproclaimed- great pictures on the net, and everyone seemed to love it? They would post a very kind and warm comment about how beautiful it is.

In contrast, have you ever posted your ugly pictures, and everyone seemed to love it STILL? Same comment, same feedback as your self-proclaimed-great pictures?

Have you ever thought it is actually your attitude that define credits given  by others instead of the real intrinsic value? A complex puzzle of how society works.

Couple - Shanghai

The truth is, the longer I learn about photography ( as an enthusiast ), the more I realized : There is nothing or noone to impress out there. Even if I did impress everyone, it only  serve as steroid for my pride. In which I believe the more falsely dignified I have become, the less sustained my ability  to see what might come above me.

Great pictures, ugly pictures, do they really make a difference then?  how dangerous pride have us become.

Leica M3 / Summicron Rigid 50mm / ilford HP5 400

This is my starting point. One point I would shoot with different kind of mindset. The one point I have made a clear understanding to myself that the only pleasure in photography is to express in our own way whatever come what may…..instead of contradicting our way in order to impress everyone.

Leica M9 / Summilux 24mm ASPH

On April 10th 2013, my son was born. As I recall, every single important moment of my life I always brought my camera to capture the event. On that particular day, every single picture I had taken, regardless the artistic quality, represented the significance of the moment. Would I consider it as good picture if I processed my images in the way that would not represent the reality? for example putting some fancy color tone or whatever tweaks to favor the looks. I did try to process it in black and white, tried to add some color tone but I realized I do not want all of these. I just want my images to look the way it is supposed to be. For a simple reason, because I want it to always remind me that special moment in my life, without any alterations.


The fancy vignette, the enhanced contrast, it adds some interesting looks to this image in general. However, I do not need all of these. The one that I would print and put it on my album are those original images in colors.  As a matter of fact, do I need to impress everyone with the pictures of few-hours-old-baby?….. the answer is NO!

Lookdown - Ayana

My personal opinion, to whom or to what kind of cause our image serve would define our mindset in creating an art. Take an example, art of painting, expressionist are most concerned about expressing themselves, even though  it becomes hard for the viewer to understand what message lies within. The questions would be: What if actually their painting intended not to be understood? What if actually the painter just wanted to express their emotion?  What happen actually when we understand  their emotion being expressed in their painting?…..we could then appreciate their art, we could then put our eyes in their eyes, to see what the painter see. Have a look at  Scream by expressionist Edvard Munch, one could hardly appreciate this painting without understanding inspiration expressed behind it. Various theories, stories and suggestions regarding the painter’s inspiration only makes this painting greater than ever. ( also have a look at another expressionist, Vincent van Gogh )

I keep learning photography for the sake of  finding the answer that actually was not meant to be found. i.e What define a great image?

A mere personal thought, that is what this article is about, nothing more. Thank you for stopping, it is my pleasure if you enjoy reading, and I really appreciate your visiting my blog.



About Anton Candra

Thanks for dropping by, click one of my sites and you will find out about me :)
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2 Responses to Expression or Impression – by Anton Candra

  1. Daniel L says:

    Love this post Anton.
    Exactly what I am thinking too.
    Are you in Melbourne ? I am! 🙂

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