Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why do I photograph?

I have always considered myself to be a non-creative person; I am not artistic. I remember when I was in elementary school, maybe grade three or four, the teacher gave us a lesson about sketching. What I understood as the expectation was to draw using many strokes of a pencil. I did what I thought I was asked of me. The teacher however had harsh words for me about my lack of talent and for the mess I had created on the page. I wish I had kept that drawing, but I have recreated it to show you. Is it great art? No, but I think it was the last thing I drew for many years.

A recreation of my grade school sketch. Drawn with ArtRage on my iPad.

I had always had a latent interest in photography. I remember enjoying going on a 'photo shoot' with my sister. I was likely about 8 at the time. It was her camera but she let me take a few pictures with it. I remember an image of a fence I made on that outing. I have no idea where that image ended up, but I wish I could find it.

When I was about 12 I went out with my father's 35mm camera. I took this image. 



Many years later, circa 1980, my father-in-law bought a fancy new Canon camera. It too fascinated me. I wanted one as well but that was not the time. I don't know if I ever took a picture with that camera then, but I certainly read through all his manuals.

About ten years ago I decided I needed a hobby. My job is highly technical, and decided that my hobby should be something that exercised the other side of my head. I bought a digital compact camera. I quickly out grew it's limitations and when the digital Rebels were released, I took the plunge.

Since then I have been reading, watching, seeing and most of all practicing. I very much enjoy the process of visualizing an image and trying to create what I see in my mind, or capturing beauty I stumble upon. And then further developing the concept or finishing it on my computer and then the creation of a print or the publication on the Internet. My blog does not get a lot of traffic 10 to 20 readers a day based on site analytics plus my guess of Facebook readership. But it is nonetheless encouraging to see that I have people who enjoy my images. This one was taken a few years ago. It bears some resemblance to my grade school sketch, yes?

In a Cabin in the Woods
1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 250 EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 50 mm Canon EOS 40D
Near the farm,Quill Lake,Saskatchewan

I have recently come to realize that I have always been creating something, whether it be wood craft in my father's workshop or software for a large financial company. But about 12 years ago my job shifted and I was no longer a direct producer of software. I had transitioned into more of a design role and no longer directly created code. I think I missed the aspect direct creation. It is in photography that I was able to reestablish that direct connection and also something that I have direct control of from concept to completion, such as a print. That is why I photograph.
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