Toby Mason | Photography with Soul

For me photography is a way of life, something that lives by my side every day, waiting, watching and ready. I feel lucky in many respects as I don’t have to make a living out of selling pictures, instead it is a creative outlet for me.

These days many photographers seem to become so obsessed with equipment, technicalities and post-processing that it becomes clinical: they forget that photography is an art, and as such feeling and soul should be involved too. I prefer to dig a little deeper, engage other senses and see what develops..

I only use film cameras, for a variety of reasons: I grew up listening to music on vinyl and I love the crackle and pop of the needle on a record. I tend to think of analogue photography in the same way: I know that digital pictures are more “perfect”, but I feel that analogue images have more character and soul. The digital world that we live in expects instant results, but for me anticipation is something to savour. I love the wait for films to be developed, the hope or expectation of interesting results when the images come back from the lab.

Music is important to me too, and I feel it works alongside photography very well. When listing to music that I enjoy on headphones, I tend to feel as though I’m in a bubble where I’m not noticed by the outside world, and this can make me bolder and invigorated, and often inspires me to go hunting for a shot. The world seems to look cooler with your favourite music as a soundtrack.

Which leads me on to my favourite way of viewing photography, which is large format, and with accompanying music. This can lead you into the photographer’s mindset and mood. On my website http://www.fotobes.com I have a track for each gallery: music that I enjoy whilst viewing these images. Different styles of photography inspires and influences people in differing ways, similarly music, drinks and anything else that you “feel”; anything that is subjective. But I think that as long as what you try to create has this feeling of soul, however you define that, then that must be pretty satisfying.

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3 thoughts on “Toby Mason | Photography with Soul

  1. i love your statement bout this… “These days many photographers seem to become so obsessed with equipment, technicalities and post-processing that it becomes clinical: they forget that photography is an art, and as such feeling and soul should be involved too”
    I think i want to keep this in my mind…
    thanks for sharing your thoughts…

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