Thursday, August 28, 2008

From Throbbing to Sniffling

Last week I had a throbbing headache and this week I have a raging cold. Add to that the start of school, my husband and I's new house half built, and too much on my desk at work, and you begin to see what I'm up against. Ah, but I'm not here to complain!

I recently read an article entitled "How to Make Great Photographs" and in that article the writer stated "Your camera has NOTHING to do with making great photos. You have to master technique of course, but that's just a burden to get out of the way to free yourself to tackle the really hard part. The hard part is saying something with your images." I think my goal with each photograph has always been to say something, something about myself, something about that location, object, or animal. I am doing more than creating visual imagery; I am communicating.

Photography is all about communication. And the essence of that communication is knowing what will draw the viewers eye. On a recent photography outing with my daughter, I took a handful of images of our local town. For the most part, they didn't please me - too dark, not sharp, too busy. It seems I have been concentrating on bugs so much that I am out of step with taking city scenes.

Then I found this shot. So, okay, it's a restroom sign. But the starkness of the sign against the darker background really makes it jump out at me.


Still, it's not likely I'm going to go around taking photos of restroom signs. On the other hand, this shot I taken a number of years ago at a local garden comes back to mind. I still find it pretty funny!

Great Advice

But this blog is not about restroom signs either. It's about communication. So what do those two pictures communicate? Perhaps just that I have a lighter side sometimes, or perhaps that this nature photographer needs to work on her city scenes.

Each opportunity to take a photograph should, correctly, be studied for exposure, depth of field, and composition, and I do this by rote now without thinking about it. But it is really easy to get yourself into a box, where all you take are the same types of scenes, Part of what helps communication is variety. I "see" more about a photographer with the variety of images they produce, and sometimes also with what they do not.

Inspiration comes mostly from what you love, so I don't think I'll ever forsake my adoration of the natural world. But watching my daughter take photographs along side taught me something, that photographs are constantly speaking and telling stories. The old adage really is true, a picture DOES paint a thousand words.

Juvenile Red shouldered Hawk

Juvenile Red shouldered Hawk

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.


Rachel said...

I love those restroom pics!! Those are funny. And the hawk...we have one at church that looks so much like that one. We actually have we think is the mother (which we named Emmy) and smaller that is lighter in color we think is the baby (Hugh).

shares said...

i agree with your observations about photography. even though it seems like everyone and their dog has a digital SLR now, the art of photography still depends on large part on the photographer's eye and ability to capture the moment.