MY PHILOSOPHY OF PHOTOGRAPHY 101A:
Simply stated.... we all desire to be happy in our lives. The longer one takes pictures the more one tends to pay attention... to surroundings, to light, shadows, textures, and to people. Awareness becomes heightened; life becomes fuller, experiences richer. Ergo, photography helps to make me happy.
Most of us seek out purpose and completion in our lives. Many strive to incorporate the "carpe diem" spirit into their lives by trying to live each day, each moment, to the fullest. In my view, one of the best ways to fully live each moment is to "be here now". That is, to "be" as much in the present moment as possible, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. For me, a carpe diem approach to life is facilitated through photography by forcing me to be fully present in the "now"...the ephemeral present.
I once heard a photographer say that he doesn’t capture what he sees, rather he tries to capture what he feels.
The creative force that dwells deep down inside often triggers an impression or vision of a scene in my mind's eye that is far different than what I actually see through the camera's viewefinder.
Turkish photographer Mehmet Ozgur states it nicely. He said that exact documentation of nature is not the mission of an artist, as this task has already been claimed by scientists. Instead, artists are burdened to advance new visions and ideas. Ozgur believes that photographers must own their photographs by making them, not by simply controlling the release of the shutter.
Often, when I go off on a photo shoot, I’ll take hundreds of pictures and hope to end up with one that deserves to be kept. Through the portal of digital photographic editing, my final images often end up very painterly, ethereal or romantic, rather than being a copy of exactly what I saw at the time. I often go beyond what I see in the viewfinder and instead express mood and emotion in my photos.
These are exciting times.
We heal ourselves in the act of photographing by being fully present to the moment at hand. When we stand on the edge of that which is, we are released from the yoke of what has been, detached from the fear of what might be. There is only the moment, the light, the matter of our vision. All is peace in the eternal now.