As some of you have noted, I am trying to take Photofocus into deeper waters lately. While we will always have gear reviews and how-to tips, I’ve been trying to challenge those of you at the head of the class to get deeper into photography. Nowhere has that challenge gone deeper than this, and I apologize in advance if I miss the mark here. But here goes…I want you to LIVE the images you capture and share, not just photograph them.
When I look at an image, I want to be able to see the photographer’s journey. I’m not interested in a mere snapshot. I want something more. I want to know that the photographer LIVED that image. That they breathed it, tasted it, smelled it and felt it. I want not only to know the photographer was there, but that they were ALIVE in that scene…that it was part of them.
Great photographs provide a camaraderie between the experience and the image. It’s nuanced to be sure, but it’s there. It requires a balancing act few can achieve. It requires a balance of empathy and objectivity.
Great photographers also connect the dots between the subject of the photograph and the heart of the photographer.
These are things I want all of you who are very serious about photography to start thinking about. Sometimes we need hard core facts or straight forward technique to propel our photographic careers. At other times it’s okay to ponder the ethereal.
Ask yourself if your next photographic subject is something (or someone) you lived or merely experienced. Don’t forget the importance of the work we do folks. We’re out here protecting memories one memory at a time. Let’s get in there and live with the results.
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