Trent Parke: Minutes to Midnight
This morning I decided to check back on images by Trent Parke…somewhere down the line it had been in my conscience to go through his images again and maybe learn something more from them…I also wanted to do through his video, which is quite honest, and talks about story telling .
Secondly I wanted to see the similarities and dissimilarities of street photographs taken by him and by David Alan Harvey, for a few days back I did a study of David’s images…. for me both of them are masters in their field and have pursue their subject vigorously…. and have their strengths in colour or black and white photography .
A while back I saw Trent’s photography exhibition in Delhi “Minutes to Midnight” ….it was quite surprising the day I went for there was no one at the exhibition…maybe not many knew about it…so anyways the prints were not the best of quality and they reflected the light, but anyways the images were fantastic….there ‘s something to learn and a goldmine out there to be seen…
I found a consistency in the work that came from the photographer’s patience and continuous commitment towards a long term project…I went along with my friend and his mother who knew nothing much about photography except for realizing there’s something called Magnum, a body or group of photographers maybe based somewhere due to the fact I keep repeating the name “Magnum” to them when I talk about photography…. So it was quite a surprise we spent more than an hour looking at images and aunt came back again to see it a second time with me the same day….
That’s the power of photography and his work…the consistency. …There’s no image which was a favourite of everyone, but everyone had an image that was their favourite…. that image which is now imprinted in their minds, be it for a short period …imagine this image can be different for everyone…this talks a lot about the depth in his work…. it’s not just about visual moments…. but the way photographer has pushed himself…. the self belief is enormous….
I always wanted to head towards Australia. …and I will some day…but the images now only want me to go a bit early…. there’s a dreaminess, surrealism in the images…all are images are moments of times and real but then also surreal….and there is uniqueness in images for it’s an Australia I didn’t see before….the countryside….dogs, festival,kangaroos,life,place so on….the complexity…..I don’t know if Trent is complex person or not….but many of images and technique seems to be complex……it also gives a fresh perspective…..necessary I don’t know….But then hey,its his vision and he’s passionate about it….
This creativity is personal…..it is not art…art is something that we form as a by product….art is an opinion that you can only feel….having different favourites is art….the way we comprehend…for the photographer it is I guess always about what he wants to do and how he wants to do…that is creativity….and when someone loves what he does without thinking what people might think about it a passion develops that adds up to his or her creativity and can be seen in full bloom…..
For him he loves life…and this is shown as in his photography…there’s no real connection in his images….but he weaves a story of out of them later…its more of a personal journey…..
The light as seen through the images is fantastic….it’s sharp…..its elongated….it seems Australia get its fair share of light …Trent talks about this light and and the way he understands while photographing…the way he chooses his spots during a day on street…..and the way we can see this light accentuated in his images…love it…the intercourse of shadows and light……..
My favourites are many…is it a good way to define favourites I don’t know…but I certainly love the bats image, the image of girl looking at you, the commuters and shadow created while passing bus, the image of rain, and a few more …I will post them here….so many favourites you see.
By the way the details of each and every image is fantastic as well…if you combine the sharpness of light and the camera and print it ends up something magical…for the scale check the image of a man crossing street…. Trent saw it and now we see it…only that, he sees something no one of us sees…that’s unique
I also have a few questions…..and a few doubts….on how he manages such final product…the use of film, filters if any, lighting, dodging and the control of contrast….
Regarding the work as whole how much of Australia he feels he need to explore…..now that he has shifted to colour what change he sees……
This is his personal work…but what about assignments ?….and if so then can same results can be visualized in say a couple of days assignment….
There’s book of his work as well called Dream/Life….
Do see if you manage to get a hand at it
For more of his work online see this brilliant essay on Magnum Photos
All images@ Trent Parke