It’s About the Image

It’s About the Image; Not the Gear

Photography, for me, is all about the final image.

  • How does the image make me feel?
  • Does it “speak” to some inner part of me?
  • Do I remember it after I’ve put it away?
  • Am I personally happy with the final image?

The camera settings and how I processed the image in my digital darkroom are all secondary matters.  A digital camera, the computer and the image processing software I use are my creative tools of choice.

A painter uses brushes, a substrate (surface) and paint to create his/her work of art.  I doubt anyone asks the painter what type of brush, or paint, he/she used. 

The vision/idea for the work comes from within the painter.

Example:

On April 26th, 1937th, during the Spanish Civil War, the town of Guernica, Spain was razed in a bombing raid.  The raid was carried out by the German air force.  Hitler sent elements of the German Luftwaffe to help Franco and his fascist forces defeat the left-wing and democratically elected government.  In reaction, Picasso created the painting Guernica. 

This work of art is probably Picasso’s most famous painting.  I doubt anyone wonders what type of paint or brushes he used.  The work stands on it’s own.

I feel the same way about photographic images - they stand, or fail, on their own.

I do not list the camera settings (ISO, Shutter Speed or Aperture values) I used to capture an image.

If you and I were in the exact same location and we both used the same camera settings to capture a scene, your image would be different from mine.  My image would be no “better” than yours; your image would be no “better” than mine.  The two images would just be different.

And yet, photography is obsessed with the gear (camera, sensor, lenses, image processing software, etc.), and camera settings.  When you look at an image I created, tell me how it makes you feel - even it your response is “nothing”.  Tell me why.  What does the image “say” to you?  What emotional reaction do you have?  Does the image raise questions in your mind?  If so, what are they?  Does an image trouble you?  If so, why?  Would you hang it on your wall?

I’m inspired by light, shapes, people, texture, forms, lines, highlights, shadows, tones, hues and tints of colour.  These are the things that make up my images.  I hope you find an impactful image that “speaks” to some inner part of you and stays with you forever how long.

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