What I Know
I’ve always been the quiet, observant one. I’ve always noticed all the little things that many others did not. I always knew this about myself to some extent, but it wasn’t until later in my journey as an artist, that I would find out how true it was, and how much of a statement it would make in my work. It wasn’t until later that I realized just how important and precious this observant quality of mine really was.
When I first started taking photography seriously, I couldn’t translate the magic I saw into a photograph very well. Just because I saw it, didn’t mean I could automatically put what I saw into an image - that would take time, patience, and determination. All things I had plenty of. Except maybe the patient part, it’s awfully hard to be patient, especially in the beginnings of your photographic journey. I would need to take the time to develop skills, and learn the ins and outs of this craft, before I could start to make sense of being an artist. I would need to understand light deeply - I knew that much. It would take time to move past someone who understands a camera, and on to someone whose camera is just an extension of their hand and mind, and now it’s all about the environment, the feeling, the moments.
After a while, the little bits of magic I’d been noticing for so long, started showing up in my work. These things I’d been seeing and feeling all along were finally present in my pictures. My skills with a camera were becoming one with the things I saw, not every time, but just enough to keep me going. As each year passed, this happened more and more, and it soon became apparent to me that light wasn’t really the key to photography like they say. Extremely important, yes, but light is just light. Anyone can see it and take a photo of it, or in it. Light is available to every single one of us. Observation, though, is different. We all observe the world differently and that unique vision each of us has, that is the key to our photography journey. Embrace your own observations. Embrace the way you choose to use the light - the way you see it, and the way your friend sees it are two different visions.
If you aren’t deeply aware of your surroundings, of light, people, and objects, you won’t know what is worth taking a picture of. That is the key, and it’s been a part of you all along. The way you see the world is the key to photography. The way you see light and the life all around you, and translate it in your images - that is unique to you. Realizing that and diving headfirst into that idea, is the key to photography. Once you realize that you have had the key all along, and that things such as light and a camera are merely tools that you need to learn to use well, things will change. Magic will happen.