The Art of Photography
For me photography is more than simply taking a snapshot of a subject. I see far too many images where someone obviously sees something, let's say a pretty flower, and they walk up and snap away. I recently heard the term "happy snapper" and I think this term would apply to the photographer who takes this kind of image. I'm much more interested in the art of photography, no matter what genre I'm shooting in on any given day. I think the term "art" applies to any photography genre, from photojournalism to fine art. The intent of an image does differ, why we take that shot, but no matter why we take the shot we can apply artistic concepts to it to make it the very best shot we can. These artistic concepts can occur in camera or in post. Creating a more defined piece of artwork with a photograph is not new, this has been happening since the inception of photography. The only difference in 2020 is that we now have the ability to create endless varieties of artwork with our shots via the computer, not the dark room. I have worked in a photography darkroom as I took three semesters of Black and White film photography at a college. I loved film processing and it was always exciting to see the image develop right before my eyes as the developer did its work. Now, however, I have so much more leeway to make the image all my own, with my unique touch (for better or worse) and working on a computer is so much easier for me than working in a darkroom. Since my career included computers and graphic arts I was able to use those skills when I started in digital photography and I realized at some point that I had a degree of inherent skill as far as being able to learn and master software. I know this is difficult for some people even today, although we've now been digital for many years.
The image below was shot with a mirrorless camera, a Nikon Z7. A mirrorless camera makes it somewhat easier to shoot an image while hand-holding, versus a tripod, because the camera is able to capture sharp images even at lower shutter speeds. I shot this image as I did because I knew I could play around with it in Photoshop to create something more than the image that I originally shot. I love how this whole series of flower shots turned out. This image is very painterly but completely a photograph.
A Favorite Shot
One of my all-time favorite shots is the image below, that of a dog lying quietly under a table in a restaurant while the owner sat and ate breakfast. I was with a photo tour group staying at, of all places, a Motel 6! I actually spent my New Year's Eve that year in that Motel 6 all by myself. We had gathered for breakfast at the diner nearby and as we were leaving I saw this scene. I did not have my camera gear with me so I whipped out the only camera I had on me, my cell phone! I love this shot and I do wish I had been able to take it with my normal camera gear as the quality would have been better but at least I got the shot.
I am a photographer, it is my passion, my avocation, and almost everything I do revolves around it.