A Photographer’s Journey
The road in this picture has plenty of not-a-lot and could be a tad boring on the face of it. It also reflects a part of a photographer’s journey, a piece of a longer road. A lot has happened to get to this place and there is still much to discover.
This particular section of road looks plain and the temptation is to go somewhere else to find more interesting things. The trick is to learn to see what is around you because that’s primarily what photography is about. A photographer’s journey is about learning to see. Sure, a great camera is nice to have and a beautiful location is a great place to be. Yet there’s more to photography than camera and location.
What’s photography about?
I like quotes by photographers or about photography. A favourite is this one by Dorothea Lange:
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera”.
It sums things up nicely.
The camera: an instrument that can be as simple as a point and shoot, a camera phone, or at the other extreme something very heavy and with lots of bells and whistles. Learn to get the best out of what your camera can give. Maybe learn to turn the bells and whistles off once in a while and you’ll realise the camera is just a box with a hole at one side and something sensitive to light at the other, regardless of how much you paid for it. It’s not about the camera, it’s about you.
Seeing: the Mark 1 eyeball is a remarkable tool and you also need to learn how to get the best of it as well. O.K. seeing is a bit more complicated I’ll grant you, and that will probably be the subject of another blog post. For now, just know there’s a difference between looking and seeing.
Learning: it’s good to be open to new ideas, new ways of seeing, new ways of using the camera, new ways of processing the photographs you take, new ways of displaying them… you get the picture. There’s a lot of scope for learning on a photographer’s journey.
A photographer’s journey is meant to be enjoyable
The main thing though is to enjoy photography. Whether you are taking holiday snaps or composing a fine art photograph enjoy the process and have lots of fun with it. It’s about learning what your camera can do, it’s about learning what you can do, and it’s about learning to see.