Monday, 3 December 2007

Why do I photograph?

Mount Lorette, Alberta, September 2007

Having explored where I'm at, I got to thinking about the whole notion of "why?". I felt it was important to consider answers to this question to be able to properly formulate where I want to go in the future. There is no one answer to this question, instead it is a collection of factors that come together in different ways depending on mood, location, subject.

Firstly there is the whole process of photography - carrying camera, capturing scene, producing print. I enjoy this immensely, I find it a pleasurable activity to pick up a camera and turn what I see into photograph which ultimately becomes an image on paper. I think it is a very satisfying thing to be able to bring the world home in this way. Over the past few years I've also been driving towards printing and displaying more of my work at home.

My initial motivation all those years ago was about personal documentary - I like to have a visual record of places I've been and things I've seen as part of the memory process. This part is less about public consumption and more about personal satisfaction. This still continues, especially with respect to new places I visit.

A much bigger part of "why" today is bringing to others my view of the beauty of nature. Right now more focussed on the shape and form of natural objects than before but it is also about places that I love - which are not always well-known. This is all about images as representations of the feelings I have for certain sights (and sites). The reason I like them is they way they make me feel and I hope I can, in some small part, bring that to others through my photographs.

This, i suppose, leads to the artistic motivation. I have limited artistic talent. I can't play music. I have little feeling for paint & brush and my drawing skills are strictly engineering technical. Through photography I feel I can have some sort of artistic expression, however limited. I'm not constrained by coordination between hand and eye.

Finally, I am enjoying representing the behaviour of others. I have taken to showing things that interest and amuse me about other people. I'm not trying to judge them by this, just show how it is.

So, there it is. A series of reasons why I pick up a camera. If I wasn't enjoying the whole process, I wouldn't be doing it. And if I wasn't finding interesting subjects that I want to record then that, too, would stop me. Fortunately, I have an abundance of both.

In further posts in this series, I'll look at motivating/inspiring factors and where I want to go although (noting Colin Jago's post today in this arena) it won't really be about goal setting, more direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I like comments, especially constructive ones.
Comments get emailed directly to me before publishing , so if you want to get in touch drop a comment.
All comments moderated by me before being published, keeps the spam at bay.