Friday, June 30, 2006

Stop and look

Believe it or not 95 percent of the art of photography has nothing to do with looking through the viewfinder.

The real art of photography is seeing. Really looking at the way light plays on a subject, finding interesting and emotive things to photograph, looking at textures, shapes and colour.

Today I see many photographers enjoying digital photography, pressing the shutter as many times as they want without a thought to the cost, without consequence, unlike those of us used to shooting 4x5" on a technical view camera, where every frame had to be carefully considered, where it was almost immoral to waste film. The cost and limits of shooting with film meant greater care had to be taken to get the image right first time every time. Now the attitude often is, I'll fix it in Photoshop.

So here's a plea to all the happy snappers out there and anyone else caught up by the visual diarrhea that access to digital photography has created. Think, look, feel and take care of every precious frame. The art of great photography is synonymous with the art of seeing. First see then lift the camera to look through the view finder.

We are drowning in millions of images, most of them are absolute rubbish which will never see the light of day, thank goodness. It's time to be more selective before pushing the shutter not afterwards.


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