Peter Pickering - Imagination Unleashed, Vision Captured

Peter Pickering, photographer, holding a Mamiya medium format camera and taking a picture
Peter Pickering, photographer, holding a Mamiya medium format camera and taking a picture

In the intricate world of photography, the art form's vast expanse can be navigatively dissected into two fundamental categories: Subject Genres and Style Genres. This distinction serves as the foundational framework from which I, Peter Pickering, embark on my creative odyssey.

Subject Genres in photography are akin to the diverse chapters of an expansive novel, each one depicting a different facet of the world around us. They are the "what" of photography – the tangible themes and subjects that fill the frame, from the pulsating energy of bustling city streets to the introspective solitude of a portrait.

Conversely, Style Genres represent the "how" – the unique lens through which these subjects are viewed, interpreted, and ultimately captured. This is where the photographer's personal touch, technique, and vision come into play, shaping the raw material of reality into something transcendent, guided by aesthetics, concepts, and emotions.

Together, these two genres form the dual pillars upon which my photographic journey rests, allowing me to traverse the broad spectrum of human experience and expression through the transformative power of the lens.

Peter Pickering: Mastering Photography's Subjects and Styles

Subject Genres - Exploring the Canvas

While the vast landscape of photography offers myriad paths, there are certain trails I consciously choose not to tread. Weddings, newborns, wildlife, fashion, commercial, astro, aerial, landscapes, macro photography, and large-scale events remain outside my artistic purview. This choice is not a dismissal of these subject genres' value but a reflection of a more focused artistic vision In the vast universe of photography, my camera and I are magnetically pulled toward just two subject genres, each rich with its own unique tapestry of life and expression.

A portrait of an older  Indonesian man with white hair and beard
A portrait of an older  Indonesian man with white hair and beard

Street PHOTOGRAPHY: A Homage to Authentic Moments and Timeless Influences

In the visceral landscape of street photography, the world unfolds in its most unvarnished form. This genre, defined by its raw, unscripted essence, pulls me into the depths of urban life's unpredictable rhythm. It's a realm where fleeting, poignant moments are captured against the bustling backdrop of city life, where the ordinary is elevated to the extraordinary, and every face and chance encounter weaves a narrative rich with human experience.

This domain is not only about capturing moments but also paying tribute to the legends who have defined this space: Henri Cartier-Bresson with his decisive moment, Vivian Maier with her poignant snapshots of mid-century America, and René Maltête with his unique blend of humour and observation. These pioneers have instilled in street photography a sacred ethos of authenticity and spontaneous beauty, influencing generations.

In the streets, the mundane transforms into the profound, highlighting the silent dramas and untold stories etched into the fabric of everyday existence. The act of capturing such moments is a privilege, offering a window into the guarded, transient, and poetic intricacies of life amidst urban chaos.

Portrait PHOTOGRAPHY: Unveiling the Human Condition

In the profound and intimate sphere of portraiture, I am drawn into the depths of personal narrative and emotional landscape. This realm offers a unique window into the essence of the human condition, where every crease, smile, and gaze harbours a universe of stories waiting to be told. In this space, I am not merely a photographer; I am a confidant, a listener, and a storyteller, using my lens to peel back the layers of the persona and reveal the authentic self lurking beneath.

Portraiture, for me, is an exploration of identity and existence. It is a journey into the diverse tapestry of human emotion, capturing the silent language of the soul through the subtle symphony of facial expressions. Each portrait is a dialogue, a shared moment of vulnerability and truth between the subject and myself, crystallised for eternity in a frame. My aim is to forge a bridge of empathy and insight, allowing the viewer to engage in a silent conversation with the person in the photograph, to feel their joy, their sorrow, their strength, and their fragility.

Through my portraits, I endeavour to strip away the facades and the societal masks, reaching for the raw and unvarnished essence of the individual. It is an intimate dance of revelation, where each shot is an ode to the individual's unique journey and story. This genre challenges me to not only look but to see – to understand the myriad stories etched in the lines of a face, the depth of a gaze, the curve of a smile.

In essence, my approach to portraiture transcends the mere capture of a physical likeness. It is an attempt to grasp the fleeting spirit, the inner beauty, and the complex emotions of my subjects. It’s about immortalising the intangible, about painting a portrait of the human experience in its most vulnerable form. Here, in the silent eloquence of a portrait, lies the power to reveal the universal truths that bind us in our shared humanity.

"These subject genres are not just areas of interest—they are the spaces where I find my muse, where my artistic vision comes alive. It's within these realms that I truly connect with my craft, constantly inspired by the world and its inhabitants, always eager to see more, feel more, and capture more."

style Genres - Shaping Perceptions

I embrace four style genres: authentic, fine art, digital photo art and the innovative Synthographix. In my eclectic world, photography often transcends mere observation; it becomes an exploratory journey through various dimensions of reality and imagination.

An Australian aboriginal elder with a beard and tribal markings
An Australian aboriginal elder with a beard and tribal markings

Authentic - The Pure Narrative

My approach to photography, which I term "Authentic Narratives," is deeply rooted in capturing life’s unfiltered essence. This style is a testament to reality in its most spontaneous form, where the candid and unpredictable nature of human existence takes centre stage. I aim to strip away artifice, focusing instead on the raw, unplanned moments that make up our daily lives.

In practicing authentic photography, I immerse myself fully, adopting the role of both observer and participant. This method allows for a deeper connection with the surroundings, enabling me to capture the pure, undiluted spirit of the moment. My goal is to create images that invite viewers to step directly into the frame, to experience the vibrant, untamed flow of life.

By embracing this approach, I strive to maintain the integrity of real-life scenes, ensuring that each photograph is a true reflection of the moment as it was, untouched and unposed. This style is a nod to the fundamental principles of street photography, yet it extends beyond, aiming to maintain the essence of authenticity regardless of the setting. It's about preserving the genuine, unscripted narratives that unfold around us, offering a candid glimpse into the heart of human experience.

Fine Art Photography - Ethereal Constructs

Transitioning from the streets to the realm of conceptual beauty, my Fine Art Photography invites viewers into a meticulously crafted vision. These images, part of what could be termed "Ethereal Constructs," blend technical precision with creative imagination, transforming ordinary scenes into extraordinary tableaus. Each photograph is a story, a frozen ballet of light and shadow, inviting the viewer to interpret and find meaning beyond the surface. Fine Art Photography often leans towards the 'authentic' in the sense that it's born from genuine artistic intent and vision. It's true that this genre can involve creative setups, including props, makeup, hair, and carefully chosen or constructed scenery. The goal here is to create a photograph that transcends mere representation to express an idea, a feeling, or a narrative. While these images can be heavily stylised or conceptual, they're often expected to maintain a connection to the original scene or subjects as captured in-camera. Post-processing exists in fine art photography, but it's not necessarily the focus; the manipulation is typically more about enhancing the mood or cohesion of the image rather than transforming it entirely.

Digital Photo Art - Imaginative Realms

With the advent of digital tools, I venture into the "Imaginative Realms" of Digital Photo Art, where photography meets the boundless possibilities of digital manipulation. This genre breaks the confines of traditional photography, allowing me to sculpt reality, layer by layer, into something entirely new. It’s a realm where imagination is the only limit, and each piece is a unique synthesis of vision and technology. Digital Photo Art extends your ability to express what’s inside your mind by allowing you to modify and transform images of people and everyday life into something that aligns with your vision. It's less about the reality captured in the photograph and more about the story or emotion you wish to convey through manipulation and artistic intervention.

Digital Photo Art, is characterised by significant alteration or enhancement in the post-processing phase. This can include heavy edits, compositing (combining multiple images or elements that were not originally together), and other alterations that significantly change the original image. The goal here is less about capturing a moment and more about creating something entirely new from it. It’s where the photographer’s role overlaps significantly with that of a digital artist, using photography as a starting point for a piece that may end up looking quite different from the initial capture.

A man, a gangsta, with a shaved haircut and no shirt
A man, a gangsta, with a shaved haircut and no shirt

So in summary, while Fine Art Photography focuses more on capturing a concept or vision directly through the camera with artistic setups and minimal necessary alterations, Digital Photo Art involves transforming the photograph into something new and often quite different from the original shot, heavily relying on post-processing techniques. Both are authentic in their own right; they just serve different artistic purposes and utilise different processes to achieve their ends.

Synthographix - Fusion Frontiers

At the forefront of my artistic exploration is Synthographix, a term I have coined, which is a genre that stands as the future evolution of Digital Photo Art. As machine learning models advance, reaching unprecedented levels of sophistication, Synthographix emerges as the next paradigm in photographic artistry. This innovative genre seamlessly marries the palpable authenticity of real-world imagery with the transformative capabilities of artificial intelligence.

In Synthographix, traditional boundaries between the captured and the created blur as AI algorithms learn to interpret, enhance, and even generate visual elements with an astuteness that rivals, and perhaps in time, surpasses human manipulation. This burgeoning art form signifies a shift in the creative landscape, where machine learning becomes not merely a tool but an essential collaborator in the artistic process.

As digital manipulation enters this new era, Synthographix is poised to eclipse conventional Digital Photo Art, offering new dimensions of expression and interpretation. My work in this domain is at the vanguard of this transition, harnessing the latest in AI to push beyond the current horizons of digital creativity. In this space, the potential for innovation is boundless, promising a future where the synthesis of technology and human vision creates unprecedented forms of art.

Synthographix is not just a new style genre; it's a statement about the future of photography and art. As machine learning models continue to evolve, they bring a new depth and complexity to photographic expression, making my work an exciting glimpse into what the future holds for the intersection of technology and art.