Not how but why do we photograph what we do? Help us to create better images.

Started Jan 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Stephen Ingraham
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Re: Not how but why do we photograph what we do? Help us to create better images.
In reply to VisionLight, Jan 26, 2013

Once, photography for me was a very conscious process. I went about with a camera, looking for images, and telling my self the story of myself taking pictures. I looked at a lot of pictures taken by others and I tried to capture images like them. I looked a paintings, and I tried to find paintings in the world and tell myself how to make them photographs. When I realized what I was doing, I broke myself of the habit...I stopped telling myself the story of myself...while taking pictures and while living in general.

Still, I spent a lot of time looking for pictures. Too much. It kept me from seeing what was around me in any other terms. It separated me from the life I should have been living. I was still the guy behind the camera. When, again, I realized what I was doing, I put my cameras away for close to 10 years.

I took them out again only when I felt I could take pictures without looking for them, or thinking about the process over-much. It was an experiment, and it pretty much has worked. As equipment has improved, and digital has come along, I find that I am able to give very little thought to the process at all.

Instead, I only take pictures that ask to be taken. I only take pictures that demand to be taken. I make take 15 shots, working around a subject that demands my attention, or 100 shots of a sequence of action that says "take me"...or I may wait in front of a sunset for sunrise, shooting off a shot here and there, waiting for the moment that must be captured...the moment that holds the meaning.

I do look at other folks' work. I read about the possibilities others are finding in new cameras and new software. I let new information and possibilities work in the back part of my mind until something says, "here it is...here's a chance to try that!"

Ezra Pound said a poet is just a finger pointing...look at that! How much more true is that of the Photographer? I am just a finger pointing...look at that!

(Okay that is all very over the top philosophical and new agey I know. I do try to live it though.)

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