Photographic Perspective

Every photographer has their own philosophy and perspective on photography and their work, and they don't often think about it. It's simply the focus is on the work. Their work shows their perspective, but it doesn't often tell the why, what drives them to take the images they do. Some write articles or books about their philosophy, some about their perspective, and some about their methods and techniques which describes the why in indirect ways. Maybe, it's the old adage, I am what I do, what else is there to know?

Every photographer has their favorite photographers, and their work and books. I'm no different. I was taken back by an essay by Sam Abell a few years ago. His advice for part-time serious photographers has stayed with me. His advice was to focus on two or three photographic themes in your photography work and life, and devote all your photography energy to those themes, not only capturing the best images you can, but understanding the subject to add to your knowledge and your photography. He wasn't against trying other work, but make the themes your photography goals throughout your life.

Other photographers whom I admire their work are Walker Evans, for his work capturing life in the depression era, and Galen Rowell, for his dedication to his life and work. Walker Evan demonstrated the value of capturing scenes of ordinary life, the one type of photography I firmly believe outlasts almost all types of photography because we simply relate to it. Galen Rowell demonstrated that photography is a reflection of one's dedication to a life. What more need be said?

Even though I've been a photographer since 1969, it hasn't been the focus of my life, but it is one of the reason I took an early retirement, to focus more time learning the art and craft of photography to focus on the themes in my life, namely Mt. Rainier National Park, and Seattle and Tacoma landscapes. Other occasional work are in street and event photography and studio work. I realize I'll never be a great photographer, but that's not my interest or goal, I want to enjoy the work and produce good images of what I saw.

I will say one thing about my images. My goal is to capture what I see and present that in the images. To that end I like to put the effort into capturing the best image in the field and minimize the time sitting in front of a computer. Almost all of my images are scanned and processed to reproduce the image in the slide. Very little, if any, changes are made in the digital image, and any of those are mostly to correct for scanning or limitations in the film.

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WSR V2.8, January 2013