Thoughts / The picture of New / September 27, 2007

Lately I have found myself thinking much about innovation. It is a very difficult word to define these days, and it has to do with the marketing value it has.

Today I was looking at a fantastic picture from Reuters about a dreadful fall of Dani Pedrosa, a spanish rider for Honda, in the Japanese Grand Prix.

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It made me think it was beautiful, even when showing an action we might label painful and reprehensive to enjoy. Its beauty came from beyond the situation itself. It came form the uniqueness of it, of the moment captured in the film.

Its beauty lays in its innovative way of showing a situation we already know how to interpret. It is an innovative picture, showing a new way of seeing what might have quotidien to recognise, a fall from a motorcycle, an event that can take secons to happen, and to which eyes are usually unaccustomed to perceive in detail.

Innovation in itself, as a word, means a new way of doing something, more or less. Photography has always depend on innovation, as it rests within showing us new ways of seeing the world that surround us, always surprising our accustomed eyes with uncommon images of what’s colloquial, known to our perception.

As far as I recall, innovation has not been a particualr search for photographers. It might be me but photographers don’t define their work as innovative in general. Breathtaking, incredible and impressive are adjectives that adapt and describe better waht great photographers do. And I start thinking innovation is not a spoken issue just because it is the most common of issues for a picture professional. It is so much part of what they do, it is a common place. It is what good photographers do.

Perhaps we designers should let it become a fundamental part of what we do in order for it to become what it might really be: a fundamental part of our everyday work.