Friday, 29 July 2011

Why Photography?

I am currently doing Kat Sloma's photography course Finding your Eye.  One of the questions raised asks 'why do you take photographs?'  It seemed like such a simple question until I started thinking about it in detail.

For me, taking natural photographs of my daughter and our family, capturing her childhood and those family moments which are so special but so easily forgotten was the primary reason that I picked up a camera - and then wanted to get better at it.

But it's a funny thing, now that I have picked up my camera, I want to photograph everything.  Even the mundane and everyday can take on new significance and interest when viewed through the lens.  It seems to me that it's not what you're looking at but how you're looking at it and I want to challenge myself to really look and see the things around me in a more creative way.

In my initial assessment of 'why photography?' I did not consider the creative aspect of photography at all.  I considered the recording of moments and memories as the main driving force.  Yet on reflection, the creative aspect of photography is absolutely fascinating to me.  I read books and peruse photography sites hungry to see other people's interpretation of objects and events and I want to be able to present my vision of things too. 

I still find the technical side of photography tricky and a bit scary.  But to be honest, a fuzzy photo of my daughter's birthday party is going to be as cherished as a technically perfect one (cherished, though perhaps not displayed!).  I'd rather have the shot than miss it because I'm fiddling with my camera.  That's not to say I don't want to learn the technical side, but I don't want to be so intimidated by it that I end up never taking, or showing, any of my photos.    Photography, like all art, is subjective.  I don't want the 'rules'  to interfere with my enjoyment of the process. 

I couldn't imagine my blog without photos (isn't it ironic there are none in this post!).  They are part of my life and my story and part of the reason I set my blog up was to encourage myself to go out and take more photos.  I have much to learn and discover but I think everyone sees the world in a unique way.  I hope I can discover my uniqueness and have some fun along the way.

4 comments:

  1. Love, love, love your words. I wonder how many of us pick up our cameras to capture our children's growth and then find so much more. I too am mostly interested in the creative side of things. I look forward to seeing more of your images and words in the class. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I loved this: "...it's not what you're looking at but how you're looking at it..." I think that may be the key to what gives each one of us our own unique photographic eye. Learning to capture what I see the way I see it, so someone else can see it too...that's what I want and hope for. ~Lee

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  3. Hello:
    Yes it is rather odd that a post about photography should carry no pictures but that, in a rather strange way, adds to its interest. Or at least, we feel, in this particular case.

    Our own experiences with a camera are very limited having acquired one for the first time when we started our own blog in April of this year. But, included among our friends are the garden photographers Andrew Lawson, Clive Nichols and Gary Rogers from whom we have not so much learnt as have seen professional photography in action. Most interesting.

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