Get to the point Mercer.
OK, I will.
Just this – it’s time to put a voice to our photographs, to tell the story around the click of the shutter, because stories are the in-thing. I encourage you all as photographers to begin to print your own books and alongside each image include a story. This makes it so much more real and exciting, not only that, your photographic skills will be greatly enhanced if you consciously and intentionally form stories around every image you take.
All the best with your stories, your new books, and for those entering the weekly challenge, your exciting tales.
Here are some of my stories:
Dancing for money
It wasn’t that I was deeply affected when I saw these two little girls dancing in the streets of Cape Town. I knew that the alternative would be starvation. Even though they were barefoot and that sewerage was pouring from a drain nearby, I knew that I was living in a country that had been seized by the Gupta family and that the poor, the uneducated and the marginalised had no chance at all.
I stood there staring for a while and realised that I shouldn’t really be there, especially with a camera hanging from my shoulder. I was fascinated though by the organic colours, so much so that the filth and stench of an inner city drug den eluded me for a moment. I came to my senses as a young man rounded the corner; his eyes were glazed, but he was quite surprised to see me. I took the shot as he ducked back into the room and in haste, I decided to make it back to safety.
The view from the top of Signal Hill over Sea Point and the Atlantic Ocean is one many tourists are familiar with. After Apartheid, many artworks were installed, and they all had to do with human rights and the reversal of the injustices of the white regime. While I can understand the motivation behind the statement, “Your respect is my strength,” I think that it is a fairly futile one at the best. When we place our sense of being respected in the hands of another, we will always be disappointed.
I was in their area and I was photographing their pain.
It was a time to show respect and to try to understand how they felt about the injustices of life. That’s why one needs to travel and to understand what people go through; to ask questions and to keep silent when listening to their response – not to offer an opinion borne out of what can be deeply engrained prejudice.