This is an unusual one for me, so many people know Claude Monet’s paintings and I don’t think he directly influences me, but sometimes a technique or an idea that they have can. Don’t get me wrong, I love his work, and love looking at it, but I don’t paint like him, though I like the impressionist idea.
One of the first paintings I ever saw of his was in 1987 at the National Gallery of Victoria. They had a lone of one and it was one of haystack paintings. The colours are just stunning and I loved his use of light with that colour. I know that if I saw a haystack in a field like this it would look like this, but I love the way it is interpreted and the way he made use of what he saw. His use of light was especially important, it is essential for a photographer to understand light and how it can be used to make a great image.
When I look at the paintings and then go back to my own work, I try to remember that it doesn’t always have to be perfect, you just have to give the impression of it. That more can be expressed through the imperfection sometimes, than through a perfectly executed photo.
Not that we necessarily do the same work, I can see some similarities between his and mine. Architecture and water, two things I love. When you look at his work you can also start to see that you can exaggerate some things, but they need to fit in with the whole and not stand out on their own. I find some people over saturate images, and most of the time it looks horrendous, but there are times, such as a sunset, that a little enhancement can add to it.
In today’s world of art it seems everything has to have a meaning. If you want to get work into a gallery you have to have some reason for why you want to create art. You can’t just say, because I want to make beautiful work. It is refreshing to see an artist who was very successful just doing beautiful paintings. What is wrong with that?
I have started telling potential new clients that I don’t do normal architectural photography. I believe that, my work isn’t the same as other architectural photographers. I try to create an impression, an artistic impression of a building. I want to evoke emotions and try to change the image in a way that gives the viewer more of an impression of what is there. I don’t know if I succeed at that, but hopefully through Monet I am starting to do it more and more.
Another image from the Boardroom at the Manchester Unity Building. A solace feeling I hope. Yet another impression and a different angle of the room. Image manipulation is so important to my work, and learning to use the tools of it have been a massive task. I couldn’t create my impressions without them. If I didn’t have them, and didn’t use them, then I imagine my images would be boring and just normal shots.
If you don’t know who Claude Monet is then I recommend you look him up. He was an amazing artist and I think we could all learn a lot from him. He was a plein-air landscape painter and we are plein-air photographers.