Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photography and Writing


I was thinking this morning about photography and writing and how it has developed for me. If you'd have told me years ago that I'd be doing a lot of either one, I wouldn't have believed you. Hindsight is a great thing, and looking back at my life, especially from high school on, I can see the path clearly.

Both photography and writing require similar steps in my head. Generally speaking, I am a fairly organized person, and I am married to an organized person. I'm the kind of person who takes something out and then puts it away when they are finished. I'm neurotic about keeping my kitchen clean. You'll not find dirty dishes in my sink when we sit down to eat. I am similarly organized about where and how I keep my photographs.

Ox-Eye Daisies along the Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway, Georgia
Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway

Ox-Eye Daisies

Different people have different systems of organization. I prefer to organize by date and author. This way photos my husband or my daughter have taken will not be confused with those I have taken. I've had that problem in the past. If the photos are all of one particular subject, one I'll probably reattend in the future, then I add a short description after the date. I'm also big on backing up my files. This, again, comes because I once lost files in a computer crash. My life has been captured in a series of images and each image, no matter how trivial, all together make up the story of who I am, so photos are precious.

I am as organized about writing as I am about photography. I like to know what I am going to write about and what information I like to include. I read, re-read, and read again before I post anything. This brings me to my other point of comparison between the two - pace. Where taking photographs and writing blogs are concerned, I am s-l-o-w. I guess some people have the ability to just whiz things out, but I have to take lots of time, study it from all angles, and make three different versions, before I post the final result. It has taken me days before to come up with a product I am ultimately pleased with.

Ox-Eye Daisies

And with both, there is no repetition. I cannot return to that same scene again, have the same light, the same bird in the same spot, no more than I can re-write on a subject and achieve equal results. Light and life are always changing. My job as a photographer, and now as a writer, is to put down where I am at in life, to photograph the things I see now, so that later on, when it has changed again, I can remember where I was at.

Photography and writing go hand-in-hand, one supplementing the other with what it cannot provide. The old saying says, "One photograph is worth a thousand words." I would add, "One word creates a thousand pictures."

Ox-Eye Daisies


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Suzanne Williams Photography
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Florida, USA

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

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