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Deng Wei: The Most Valuable Images are beside you

2017-06-30

On June 25, during the six monthly master talk of Photo Beijing 2017, the famous photographer Mr. Deng Wei, who is also the deputy chairman of the China Photographers Association, attended the "Photo Beijing·Monthly Master Talk" and presented us a wonderful seminar - "The Most Valuable Images are beside you" centering on the theme of the Photo Beijing 2017 "Photography: Origin and Future", which shared his valuable experience and inspiration over the years. 


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In the seminar, Deng frankly talked about the status quo and problems of the photography circles with an emphasis on the news and documentary photography, and made straightforward comments on the three pain points of the current photography in China with sharp and profound perspectives, which are worthy of every photographer's introspection. Pain point I: similarity. Currently, there are at least 6,000 photography exhibitions annually in China, from national exhibitions to works in salon communities, where almost all works displayed in the competition are similar in themes, presentation styles and concepts. Pain point II: robust momentum, but unpromising future. With the social and economic development and improvement in people's living standard in recent years, photography is developing rapidly with significant coverage into popularity and prosperity, which is a major achievement. However, being inconsistent with the trend of macro development and prosperity, certain necessary concepts and rules become dispensable, which brings major negative influence to photography. Pain point III: photography circles falling into the Vanity Fair. In recent years, some domestic influential photography contests were revealed with author violation, photo falsification and unimaginably queer incidents. Some photographers conducted artificial damage to natural relics simply for taking some "good" pictures. And some people pay their attention to rewards and use photography as a means for professional title evaluation, and someone becomes indulging in upgrading photography equipment rather than improvement in concepts and ideologies. It's hoped that photography shall retain its integrity and decency. 


The Most Valuable Images are beside us 

It is an era of photography accessible by everyone without barriers, and what we need more is the images photographed with true feelings and sensation revealing the truth. As an amateur photographer, everyone is free to take pictures with their favorite themes, however, it's expected that you may consciously try certain different themes. If more people try it, the presentation of the society through photography will become increasingly more diversified and copious. 

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Ice and Fire of China's Coal Industry in Thirty Years by Zhang Zhaozeng reflected the evolvement of China's coal industry in 30 years transiting from the leading role in the energy sector to the dilemma of overcapacity. 

We have enormous outstanding themes around us to be discovered, explored and recorded. If one theme can be continuously pursued for ten years or even decades, it would be tremendous spiritual wealth with profound historical meanings. 


What photos can be considered as good photos? 

Those inspiring people at their first glimpse would be good photos. Classic photos are always impressive, which are memorable in one's entire life. In my opinion, good photos are taken by "feet", as I hope that we should travel more for more photos and continuously broaden our vision. I expect to see more impressive works from you, and you can communicate with each other by good works. 

China has the largest number of photographers in the world, and they must be outgoing to try different themes and avoid the reproduction of existing works. We may not be ambitious when we set off for photography, maybe we will not be remembered by the history, and maybe we won't be outstanding, but, there is one thing that we must insist, which is to stay authentic and keep the good faith in photography. Remember, valuable images are beside us. 


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