Gregory Crewdson: Reality in Sharp Focus

The conversation with Gregory Crewdson, in addition to his conference, confirmed that at least his creative process resembles field-crossover, since Crewdson’s photography borrows a lot from movie-making techniques. Granted, photography already is an integral part of movie-making. However, in Crewdson’s case, the techniques he borrows are regressed not for the sake of storytelling (as they had advanced for cinema) but for the sake of his own creative vision. Crewdson seems to be a visionary of his photography field because he works like a filmmaker does, even when he’s not telling a story—he’s constructing “a moment” to photograph according to a nebulous-though-clear vision that he has in his mind about “that moment.”

In other words, Crewdson holds his vision of “the moment” in a “backburner” and starts working upon that idea until Eureka strikes. For example, Crewdson stated that he’s not sure about the location until he scouts and almost stumbles upon the right place—that’s his Eureka.

Ultimately, according to creativity theory, Crewdson should be considered a genius photographer simply because he has had the vision and obsession of putting reality into a sharp focus (literally), even when that has meant staging and manipulating the photographs in order to achieve his pictures. An image, and specially his, not only says a thousand words—they tell a thousand stories.


Dallas, TX, February 2010.

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