Not just a pretty picture

I started this website because I wanted to find kindred souls who appreciate the subtleties of life and its meaning through photography, especially those who are able to give a different perspective on so-called 'everyday' events and are happy to share such photos with others.

I love photography and I get a big kick when the photos turn out nice and pretty. I started reading about visual art and soon realised there were different types and levels of photography. I looked at photos from master photographers like Arthur Steiglitz , Henri Claude Bresson, Edward Stiechen, Andrei Kretez, Diane Airbus, and paintings from old masters to modern day contemporary artists. While there are many differences between paintings and photography, there are also many parallels.

Tracing the development of the painting through the ages, I realised that early renaissance paintings were mostly religious works. The church was very powerful in those days and commissioned many paintings and sculptures by famous painters and sculptors. The church’s brief would always be the same: paint an awe-inspiring tableau from the Bible to instil fear in the un-initiated and faith in the believing. Therefore the paintings were derived from a singular purpose.

Slowly through the years beginning with the pre-impressionist era , pictures were painted for the sake of painting as opposed to being a medium of purposeful expression. With the advent of abstract impressionism, meanings in pictures became even more superfluous albeit with several exceptions such as Piccaso’s striking Guertica. Similarly, photos can be judged based on their beauty and/or meaning. Many famous landscape photographers such as Ansel Adams took beautiful images of landscapes in America. Other pictures such as Walker Evan’s pictures of the American midwest and Henri Bresson’s photos can be storied and rife with meaning. It is those pictures with offer the chance for rich personal interpretation that relate to me.

In the course of my own development as a photographer I have gravitated towards taking art photographs that tell a story (or multiple stories depending on the viewer). Some pictures are taken with the intent of capturing a specific story or “meaning”, while others are “found” to have meaning retrospectively. Recently, having shared my photos at a small exhibition in Singapore, people came up to me to tell me how much they related to my photos and the accompanying stories. That gave me the idea to create a platform where all aspiring art photographers ( aren't we all ? ) would be able post their treasured photos for sharing. Who knows, maybe the next Henri Claude Bresson may be launched from this website.

I am lucky to have around me very talented young people like Alan Ramos, June Lee, and Leon Rajanthiran who devoted many hours and countless mockups to bring an idea from conception to a fully functioning website. In particular, Alan, our computer wizkid (who secretly loves to be called a geek) worked night and day tirelessly on this platform.

I look forward to anyone willing to share their experiences, stories, and photographs with all of us in this wonderful world of photography.

Seow Juan Low
Singapore

My email is lsj@lookingforameaning.com