The decision to make a photograph is an interesting proposition. What is it that catches our eye and convinces us that we’ve seen something that is worthy of a photograph? And why would we think anyone else will be interested, and should that matter to us? Do we really make photographs for others, or are we simply trying to satisfy our own needs?
I honestly don’t have answers to these questions, but they are questions that I find myself wondering about more and more. I think it is something most photographers go through as they gain years and experience. As a newcomer to photography we start out struggling to learn the craft well enough that we can make images that are in concert with our vision; it’s all about learning how to use the gear. We waste time, and money, looking for short cuts. We buy more gear thinking that better cameras and more lenses will magically make our photographs better when in fact it’s hard to find a really bad camera these days. Sure, if your interest is specialized, like wildlife, you may find yourself in search of longer and longer lenses that focus quicker, but most of us just don’t utilize the gear we have to its potential.
Most of us who keep photographing eventually realize that the gear isn’t the answer to making better images. The search becomes about what does, and that’s what keeps me interested in the art of photography. It’s a game you can play the rest of your life. Once you learn the rudiments of the game you realize its not about the equipment anymore than golf is about the clubs or fishing is about the rod and reel, or even about the fish; its about the quest. It’s about learning; what makes a good image, and how you convey your vision to others. Its about opening your mind as well as your eyes.
Pentax K5IIs with 70mm lens processed with Photoshop CS4 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.