Aperature — 15 Photographers on How Imagination Shapes Their Work — Thoughts

Callum Richard Smith
4 min readNov 6, 2020

I really enjoyed reading this aricle. Imagination is an interesting factor that contributes to a persons work, it makes the piece of imagery individual, unique and can make the piece personal to the person that created it as they have made it and some work could be said to be an extension of the creator themselves. Imagination is a starting point to everyones work as it requires you the think about what you are going to create.

Dawoud Bay is quoted in this article and puts, “Photographs are nominally related to life as we know it, even as they are clearly not life itself. In the best cases, a photograph can elevate the experience of mundane everyday circumstance and transform it into an entirely new experience that both acknowledges and transcends what was there.” This quote is interesting as I agree to an extent but also disagree. I agree with the point that a “photograph can elevate the experience of mundane everyday circumstances” as some images can do this, they can create a different mood to what might be there depending on the image. Some images can create a calming mood like a sunset or an image like this image below for example. This image to me creates a calm atmosphere but in a weird alternate world because of it’s high contrasting colours and the slight over exposure created this dreamy feel to the image.

Image by Jason Kummerfeldt

However the point that I agree with I also disagree with because there are different genres of photography that may not fit to this point. For example documentary photography where the job of the image is to tell the story and give a picture for you to imagine the story behind the subject of the documentary piece.

Matt Black also said something in this article that I found interesting. “Pictures are facts that can overcome the fictions we are told or that we sometimes tell ourselves. Even when they are about things just beyond sight, they can help us to understand our world and our place in it.” The last part about understanding our world and our place in it was the part I found interesting. To me I take from that is by using our imagination and experimenting with different works and pieces we can learn something new about our world and ourselves.

KangHee Kim is a perfect example of the term imagination, the clearest example of what I would say imagination is.

KangHee Kim — From the series — Street Errands

“I think of these collages as paintings, and I show the post-production process as a way of showing mark-making. I aim to achieve perfection by rediscovering the possibility of merging two or more images, finding their spark, but I leave flaws in my photographs. Small imperfections are human; they are what make people attractive.” The reason that I say that to me this is the best example of imagination is because KangHee Kim is literally using their imagination to create this collage or composition to make the series (Street Errands). They are using multiple images to create this one image by looking at the images and seeing what could work together and this way it is very original almost like drawing in a book because it is as original as you can get with photography, it’s as if you were drawing in a book is the closest thing I can get to describing this work.

Richard Misrach, View from My Front Porch

This work by Richard Misrach was done recently during the forest fires in California. during the day this is what it looked like from his house and he made a series documenting this. “There were days when the smoke created day for night, post-apocalyptic views right out of a sci-fi Hollywood movie. The most obvious and undeniable culprit here is climate change, whose impacts are increasing at an exponential rate. The future has arrived.” How he talks about his images is a show of his use of imagination. The way he talks about how they are like from a post-apocalyptic world shows his use of imagination.