The Power of Intentional Imperfection

In the world of photography, capturing moments with precision and perfection has long been the pursuit. However, there's always a different approach. The compelling alternative photographers can explore is being intentionally imperfect. Today, social media bombards viewers what some believe to be a perfect lifestyle, even what a perfect cup of coffee can look like. Now, like anything else, it's all subjective. 

With the daily announcements in improved camera bodies, lenses, lighting, editing software, etc., photography gear tends to strive for "perfection." Tack-sharp subjects. Perfect exposure. Noise levels. Corner sharpness. You name it. Gear is getting so advanced that getting those things mentioned seems to come with a good foundation in photography knowledge, and in some cases, the camera itself doing a lot of the heavy lifting for the photographer. But what about going in the opposite direction? What about perhaps leaning into the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi that celebrates imperfections and simplicity? By incorporating the principles of wabi-sabi into their work, photographers can add depth, authenticity, and a sense of mindful intention to their creative process. At its core, wabi-sabi encourages us to find beauty in the imperfect.

This video comes from aows, who always seems to be in a different part of the world when uploading to YouTube. He goes on to speak about the very same things. He highlights how with today's camera technology, photographs are produced with such high quality that sometimes, it's too much quality. He continues with how, with intention, he'll make photographs "imperfect," best suiting his artistic vision, through in-camera approaches such as long exposures or shooting through windows streaked from the rain, to editing. In this video, he shows the viewer a glimpse into his approach and thought process and encourages experimentation. 

By incorporating this practice, a photographer can perceive and capture the world by simplifying their compositions, leveraging imperfections, and embracing the unpredictable. By cultivating appreciation, a photographer can infuse a sense of authenticity, depth, and emotional resonance in their process of making photographs. Check out the video for a more detailed look at this photographer at work. 

Michael Rudzikewycz's picture

Michael is an amateur photographer currently living in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A Long Islander by birth, he learned how to see with a camera along the shores of the island that he will forever call home.

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