One of the things I love most about photography is seeing worlds that are completely unknown: A grassy plain in some foreign country, the peaks of the tallest mountains in the world or even a glimpse into the simple culture different than my own. It’s as if each photo is a view through someone else’s eye. But where I find the most joy is when a photograph blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. That is of course the case here with Fernando Gros‘s photo, HK-Everyday179.
The photo and the subject at hand are of course based entirely in reality. This is Hong Kong. Or at least it’s a building within Hong Kong. The balance of the photo is filled with a rather dense cloud cover. It may be a bit of a leap for me to consider this photo a step closer to some fantasy world. But I’m really not that far off base. I’m sure most of the time, the view from this vantage point is dramatically different. Fernando’s window of opportunity to take this shot was likely quite small. So for all but a tiny chunk of the world’s population, this photograph illustrates a place and time that might as well be fantasy. I of course would like to Fernando for taking advantage of this opportunity, as it has given me a world to dream within.
Fernando’s photograph serves to remind us the whole purpose and intent behind photography as an art form: It is about showing others things that are uncommon – fantasy if you will. This puts a little pressure on us as photographers. We need to be on a constant lookout for new and interesting things – uncommon things – that will result in a great photograph. This is challenging of course, but also quite rewarding. Our reward is being there – seeing everything in front of us. We have the ability to move around the subject, to consider different angles. We have an opportunity to intimately know our subject in a way that our viewers could only begin to imagine. The end result is a glimpse. A welcomed glimpse as the viewer is enthralled and inspired. But the whole story is only known to us.
I wish I could have been with Fernando the day he took this photograph. I wish I could have seen this scene from his vantage point. To walk around and see this scene with my own eyes. All I have is this single glimpse, and I’ll have to live with that. But that makes me appreciate each photo more. It also helps me to appreciate my time behind the camera.
You will of course want to spend some time with Fernando Gros’s Photostream. You will find that HK-Everyday179 is not the only bridge into the fantasy world. There is much inspiration to be had from Fernando’s works.