Art Knows No Boundaries

The post about Auto and  Pro modes of phone cameras paves the way to discuss what this blog is truly about — the making of art with ordinary equipment. Before going through the auxiliary functions of the phone, though, let me tell you a story about this picture above.

I was doing homework on a winter night. The wind was blowing quite coolly outside. For no reason other than to… let me see… take a break from my work, I went out for a walk. Winter skies are clearer than summer ones because the lack of moisture means there are less clouds in the sky, and that usually makes a star-gazing opportunity. That was not the case where I was, though. Instead, imagine a dark, cold night, with lamps lighting the streets (quite poorly, I have to say) and groups of clouds hiding the half-moon and stars. Why would I want to stay out? Because there is a charm to the night. To me, anyway. Clouds get blown across the sky, and the scene is very tranquil. Then, suddenly a star appeared across the moon, emerging from behind a cloud. I snapped a picture of it with my phone. The picture is plain, and I went home without thinking much about it.

It wasn’t until much later that I dug the picture out from my gallery and applied some Google Photos effects on it. And there you have it, the picture that encompasses, contains, and represents all the feelings and experience that take the last paragraph to explain. It seems we are not very diligent about art at times. We think a picture is only what it is, only wonderful patterns attractive to the human eye. What about mine? It is very crude, but to me it has a special meaning. Where it might have failed is that it does not have such meaning to you.

What makes good art? What makes a good photograph? Everybody can press the camera button to take photos of their friends or the beaches they visited, but they remain meaningless unless you convey some feelings though them. Photography at its best, in my opinion, is when you capture the essence of the scenes and people around you so that those who see your work will feel just as how you feel at that moment. When done correctly, a picture is truly better than a thousand words.

The best part? You can do this, no matter where you are.


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