Marian Schmidt is known as a photographer who works in three directions: humanist photography, portraits and large format photography. In the last one, he focuses on landscapes and abstract expressionism. He is a master of composition blending aesthetics and precision. There are no extraneous elements in his compositions – even when he quickly photographs people in street scenes. He seeks strong emotional relations between all the elements of the image, whether they are human or not. For him it is important to relate people to their surroundings and pay attention to their position with respect to the background. He composes by a pure way of seeing: exluding any unnecessary thoughts, any analysis, any concepts, any rules… The right composition is the one that induces an emotional peak while photographing.
In his poem: What we have sensed here as beauty
Some day will come to us as truth
Schiller realized that beauty is not the ultimate goal of any form of creation, but only a bait to go further. For a photographer the beauty that he senses in a subject is not enough. It is the experience that truth is hidden behind it that is the most relevant content. Marian Schmidt is not interested in a documentary or physical truth. He searches for the possible manifestations of truth in photographs that are not a representation of reality, but a reality in themselves acting directly on the viewer. To begin with, truth manifests itself as sincerity. He never photographs a subject that doesn’t awake in him an authentic deep living experience. When he photographs people – in their daily life or in portraits – he seeks the expression of their true feelings, excluding any kind of pretending. Then there is his inner truth reflecting his mood, his relation to people and nature at the moment he photographs. The most important manifestation of truth is the most difficult to express: a universal, transcendental truth that is a mirror of the soul. It is demanding on both the photographer and the viewer. It requires from both an appropriate psychological preparation and a pure way of seeing – where meditation helps. It also depends to a large extent on finding a subject to photograph which lends itself to such a high level of expression.
For Marian Schmidt photography is a search for hidden treasures. He prepares himself psychologically to get rid of tensions, achieve a certain inner peace and feel inspired. He goes with open eyes and an open heart on promenades in streets, parks, cemeteries, countrysides, forests, landscapes… There is a paradox in this search, which is called active meditation. There is a purpose in it and at the same time it’s purposeless. He looks for something, but he doesn’t have to find anything. The bliss is in looking or finding. Sometimes it happens that he feels a strong emotion while photographing a subject, and later he finds out that the emotion is absent from the photograph. It doesn’t matter. Even if the image is discarded, the living experience rests and no one can take it away from the photographer.
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