Light & Lighting

Many readers are moved and motivated by your books such as “The Photographer’s Eye” and “Michael Freeman’s Photo School Landscape” in Taiwan, could you let us know how do you come up with these great works in the first place? Is there anything unforgettable or interesting while you were writing them?
台灣有許多讀者被您的「攝影師之眼」以及「風景攝影的巔峰」給感動與激勵,您是否能夠讓我們知道當初是如何創作出這樣的傑作?在編撰的過程當中,是否有特別難忘或有趣的事情?

風景攝影的巔峰  

 

I began writing books on photography many years ago, and I’ve always enjoyed trying to explain what I as a professional photographer (and my friends who are also professionals) set about shooting. It always seemed to me that there was a publishing gap in dealing with and talking about the real underlying issues of photography—not the technical and mechanical aspects, but the ideas and the visual imagination that need to go into shooting at a professional level. I manage to write one book a year—more would be too many—and I choose the different themes that go into this way of thinking about photography.
我在多年以前開始編撰攝影書籍,並且十分享受試著去解釋自己身為職業攝影師(以及我的職業攝影師朋友們),究竟是怎麼去執行拍照這件事。對我來說,以出版物的型式來談論攝影,與真正實際去面對拍攝當下的狀況,這兩者之間一直有個很大的鴻溝;假如我們所談論的是職業層面的拍攝作業時,這樣的落差,並非是在技術以及器材層面上,反而是在想法思維與視覺想像上。我設法讓自己保持一年出版一本書的步調,若是超過一本便會顯得太多了,而且我會選擇能夠以「這樣的思考範疇」(註1)來好好談論攝影的多種主題。

 

Michael Freeman  

[註解1]
作者希望能夠在每一本著作當中,好好地針對某一個主題來徹底地談論攝影這件事,而不是拼命地出版更多的刊物或是在一本篇幅有限的書籍當中,設法把什麼東西都包括進來,因為這樣便會無法完整地傳遞他的想法與意念。

 

讓光線主導一切  
There are many people who love photography in Taiwan, but also quite a lot of them are struggling between taking it more seriously as a career and just leaving simply as a hobby. What does it take to go on this road, as a professional photographer? When and how did you decide to choose photograph as a life-time vocation?
台灣有許多人熱愛攝影,但其中有不少人正苦於是否要認真地把它當作職業,還是單純的興趣罷了。要成為一名職業攝影師,其背後的代價究竟是什麼?您是何時以及如何決定把攝影當作畢生的志業?

 

Doing photography as a full-time career is not at all easy, and perhaps less easy now than it was in earlier years, because much of the kind of shooting that used to be the preserve of professionals is now very well covered by amateurs. And many amateurs have photographic skills every bit as good as professionals. So you need to think very carefully before making this big step. I believe the future of photography as a career will be limited in future to certain specialized areas, including sports, fashion, weddings and social photography, advertising. General photography, editorial and documentary, will probably in future be unable to sustain a full-time career.
把攝影當作全職工作並非一件容易的事,而且現在應該比過去幾年(早期)更加困難。因為從前只有職業人士才會拍攝的一些類別,如今已經成為連業餘人士都會經常拍攝與熟悉的範疇了。更何況,許多業餘玩家的拍攝技巧都已經跟職業攝影師不相上下了。因此,在你要做下這個重大決定(成為職業攝影師)之前,務必要審慎地思考。我相信,未來能夠把攝影當作一種職業的可能性,將會侷限在某些專門的領域,包括運動、時尚、婚禮、社交以及廣告。一般的、社論的、紀實的攝影,在未來或許已經不足以支撐與構成一份全職的攝影工作。

 

攝影師之念—讓影像透過文字與設計來述說動人故事  
As we know, the internet can spread our works widely and quickly. But how could we protect our creation from being misused (or so called stolen) by individuals or corporations?
眾所皆知,網際網路可以讓我們的作品快速且廣泛地傳播開。但是我們應該怎麼做,才能夠保護我們的心血免於被個人或企業給誤(盜)用?

 

The short answer is that you cannot. Simply look at the even more serious problem of malware and data protection, and how there will always be ways to steal and misuse content published on the internet. However, my experience is that few people or companies steal imagery that would normally be paid for. The people who steal photographs generally do it for their own personal use, and my attitude (perhaps different from most photographers’) is that if someone appropriates my imagery for a screen-saver or a blog, I don’t really mind as long as it is credited to my name.
簡言之,「沒辦法」。我們只要探究一下更為嚴重的惡意軟體與資料保護的問題,以及為何總是會有辦法來竊取與濫用發布在網路上的內容,就會明瞭之。然而,根據我的經驗來看,只有少數的人或公司會因為竊取他人的影像而付出代價。那些盜圖的人們通常也只是把照片挪作私人用途,我對此的態度(也許跟大部分的攝影師不同)則是,如果某人把我的影像作品運用在螢幕保護程式或是部落格當中,我並不介意,前提是他們有把我的名字與版權標示出來。

 

街頭攝影:「圖解」捕捉精彩瞬間的心法與技法  
Digital Cameras and Smart Phones have made photography much more approachable than before (everyone can take a picture nowadays), what do you suggest for those who have just entered this business as professional photographers in Asia (Taiwan)?
數位相機與智慧型手機讓攝影變得比過去更為容易(現在任何人都會拍照),您會給那些剛入行的亞洲(台灣)攝影師什麼樣的建議?

 

That you need to compete at a different level and on different terms from before. You are no longer employed as a professional photographer because of an ability to operate the equipment, but instead to offer a deeper and more imaginative understanding of your clients’ needs. Your photographs simply have to be better at fulfilling your clients’ needs than those of an amateur.
你們得要面臨與以往不同程度與形式的競爭。單單只是會操作器材,已經不能夠讓你成為一位職業攝影師了,也就是說,你必須根據顧客的要求,提供更為深層而且更具創意的服務。你的影像作品,就是得要比僅是滿足顧客的需求還要更好,也要比那些業餘人士所拍攝的東西還要更棒。

 

photo by Penkdix Palme

frog wearing umbrella  
The controversial “frog wearing umbrella” photo had aroused many disputes globally; however, in Taiwan, more people have different opinions toward “retouch.” Some of them insist that a photo should not be altered in any way, when the others think that it’s perfectly ok to spice it up as long as we do not fake it. What’s your opinion? What do you think of prearranged photo (for example, ask fishers or farmers to appear in a given time and place)?
爭議性的「撐傘的青蛙」照片,在全球引發許多爭論;然而,台灣的民眾則是對於「影像後製」持有不同的看法,有的人認為照片不應該以任何形式來做修改,另一群人則認為稍微幫照片加料一下沒什麼大不了。您對此有什麼看法?您覺得事先安排好的攝影作品(例如,請漁民或農夫在特定的時間與地點出現)是否正當?

 

I think that commonsense should rule the debate. My guiding principle is that a photograph in this area of manipulation or retouching should meet the expectations of an audience. If it looks as if it should be a news photograph or a documentary photograph, what would a reasonable member of the public expect? The answer: that it should be entirely accurate with no alteration of content whatsoever. On the other hand, a frog carrying an umbrella is clearly not real, no more than a Spiderman movie, so any form of manipulation is acceptable. You raise a very good point about the setting-up of a picture situation, which predates digital and has gone on since the beginnings of photography. Again, what would the audience expect? Not every image has to be purely caught from real life as street photography. Does anyone expect that a portrait with the subject looking calmly to camera was taken candidly? No, of course not.
我認為常理應該要更勝於爭論。我所奉行的準則是,經過人為操弄或後製的攝影作品應該要能夠符合觀眾的期待。如果它看起來像是一幅新聞或是紀實照片,一個理性的社會大眾會期待見到什麼樣的影像?問題的答案:影像應該完全地準確並且在內容上沒有經過任何形式的修改。換句話說,「撐傘的青蛙」很明顯地並不是真實的,就跟蜘蛛人的電影一樣,所以任何形式的人為操弄都是可接受的。您對於預先安排好的攝影情境提出了一個很好的論點,而這樣的手法其實早在攝影誕生之際,也就是數位化以前,便已經不斷地被運用迄今了。再一次,到底觀眾期待看見什麼?並非每一幅影像都得要像街拍一般,純然是捕捉真實發生的人事物。試想,有任何人會期盼一張人物冷靜地望著鏡頭的影像,會是無意間隨手拍下的嗎?不,當然不會。

 

南雅奇岩   

As a well-known and experienced photographer, could you offer some useful tips to our readers regarding how to hone our photograph techniques and take great pictures just like you?
身為一位知名且經驗豐富的攝影師,您是否可以針對如何精進攝影技巧以及怎麼像您一樣拍出許多傑出作品,給我們的讀者一些實用建議?

 

I’m not sure that anyone should want to take pictures just like me! I’m simply one experienced photographer among many. But the route to satisfying photography lies in thought and in visual skills rather than in a new camera. Basically, I would advise readers to devour all forms of photography, looking especially at the work of the masters, so as to fully absorb what other creative minds and eyes are capable of. In addition to this, shoot and experiment as much as possible. Try to find visual interest in whatever is around you. Professional photographers generally become good by shooting all the time, every day. Practice may not make perfect, but it goes a long way!
我不確定大家是否都應該拍出跟我一樣的作品!我只不過是眾多經驗豐富攝影師的其中之一。不過邁向拍出令人滿意的攝影作品之關鍵,則是在於視覺呈現的技巧,而不是買台新相機。基本上,我會建議讀者盡可能去接觸所有類型的攝影,特別是大師們所拍攝的作品,以便能夠吸收他們具有創意的想法與獨到的眼光。除此之外,盡可能地多拍、多實驗各種可能性。試著去找出你身旁任何事物在視覺上最令人感到有趣的焦點。職業攝影師就是靠著無時無刻、每天都在拍攝而變得越來越出色。練習也許不見得能造就完美,但它可以讓你長遠地不斷拍攝下去。

 

文字/翻譯
攝影阿甘 PhotoGump

 

The translation of “Michael Freeman’s Photo School:Landscape, Light & Lighting, Street and The Photographer’s Story" originally published in English are published by arrangement with THE ILEX PRESS Limited.

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