The Blurred Line

I`d thought I would share my views on Photography, not being used to sharing my opinions as this is my first attempt at a blog, I hope that I don`t sound too one sided or opinionated. I won`t go into detail about how I learned photography, only to say that I was given a 35mm camera and a couple of rolls of B&W film when I was 13 and told to go for it.

That was nearly 40 years ago, I still have not any formal training, apart from a few years in High School, most of my experience has been gained by trial and error, a fair amount of both.

Now in the era of Digital imaging, I was reluctant to try it at first, but now find it  just as rewarding as analogue, which brings me to the reason for this Blog.

After reading blogs and posts over the last couple of weeks I have noticed that a lot of photographers spend a great deal of time in front of the computer using “Digital Darkrooms”. Nothing wrong with that, if you want to improve the look of your photographs, this one method to use.

I`m a SOOC, Strait Out Of Camera. I don`t mind admitting that, and sure I have used editing programs and inbuilt filters on cameras at times, mainly for minor cropping and exposure correction. I mainly prefer to concentrate on lighting and composition in the field, I would rather spend my time waiting for the light that I need, rather than sitting in a room focused on a screen. Sometimes other photo opportunities arise while you are there, that bug on a branch, an interesting piece of junk or other object.

I very rarely review what I have shot for the day until I get home, I still like the anticipation of seeing how my images have turned out, sometimes disappointed at the results, but getting inspiration to improve on them next time. Spending hours trying to correct problems on the computer will most likely frustrate you more, if it is possible, go out and shoot it again.

If I am at a location and the conditions are poor, I usually take notes on when the best time of day or season to be there for the right light, sometimes it may be years before that happens, sometimes never.

The blurred line between Photography and Art, a debate that has had many talking for years always has me thinking. I don’t see my images as Art, rather as a moment in time, captured at it` s best or worst. The word Photography gives us the distinction, Drawing with Light, once a image has been altered with either a brush, pencil or by digital means, it becomes “Art”, seen through the eyes of the person that creates it. Even some of the best photographers of the past altered their images, Ansel Adams comes to mind, using darkroom techniques to enhance his images, a fact that I only recently discovered. Not that it takes anything away from his work, it just goes to show how elusive that perfect image is.

My view is that photography captures the world around us as it is, Art is how we would like it to be. No photograph will be perfect, not to the person who took it, or the people who view it. Once you get used to that idea the pressure of capturing that image that you strive for will become easier.

However you view photography, the main thing is to enjoy yourself and the people that you share that time with, as that time will never be there again.

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