Locality Is Never Excuse for Excellent Photographers
Among photographers, there is a saying that local photographers have a natural advantage over their foreign peers. In my opinion, it is plansible because the landscape and environment in a certain locality may show a sharp difference along with the weather change and seasonal shift and even within a day. Climate, temperature, light and flows of people vary significantly. As local photographers can easily capture the most desirable moment, they are entitled with a higher ratio of success while those outsiders who have no choice but to try their luck often end up with great regret. SHI Yongting, a photographer in Changchun, is a typical sample. Shooting ice and snow in Northeast China for quite a long time, he has won many awards with his representative works Ice & Snow and Land·Life·Homeland. In natural spirit and magic influence, his works, blessed with both extreme magnificence and simple purity, showcase the boundless attraction of snow-capped Changbai Mountain in a unique way. In a simple yet terse layout, a light yet living tune, smooth lines and enduring aesthetics, his photos demonstrate an in-depth connotation in nature endowed by traditional Chinese culture. In 2009, his series Power of Serenity won the Golden Figure Award in the 8th China Photography Exhibition and he gained a reputation as “Prince of Ice and Snow”.
In the meanwhile, there is another saying that foreigners may give a big surprise, which I can’t agree more because local photographer must have been aesthetically tired with those familiar landscape or folklore events while foreign peers are adept at capturing some fresh pictures in art. During his tour in Russia with his students, SHI Yongting completed the series of Russian People in my Vision, which was extensively recognized and aroused an unprecedented fashion among his peers. The author attributes his success to his passionate feelings towards Russian people. “I grow up with so many Russian masterpieces in literature, music and film such as How the Steel was Tempered and The Dawns Here are Quiet. Despite the passage of time, I am still greatly touched by Russian culture as well as the gigantic sacrifice and victory for world peace gained by Soviet Union Red Army in the Second World War. No matter what change may have happened to Russia today, I always owe my admiration to this great nation.” Such a word is exactly a perfect summary of his success in capturing excellent instants of spiritual loftiness within quite limited time and scope.
In this sense, a qualified photographer never takes locality as advantages or excuses in artistic creation. So long as there is idea in mind and emotion at heart, such a photographer as SHI Yongting will ultimately gain success, regardless of locality or remote distance.