Photography - The Inaugural Blog

I like to ask people in the course of a 'photography' conversation what they believe a camera really does? I'm always amazed at the answer, which is almost usually the same. "Well, a camera takes photos". My reply is generally, "Well, that would be only partially correct. A camera, in the simplest terms, is merely a tool, instrument or device for capturing light and it is nothing more. A camera, sophisticated as it is, can't reason, think, or compose a shot. It has no cognitive function. It can only do what an operator makes it do. It captures light accordingly. It will only capture the available light based on the settings that you the operator program into it, unless you are strictly an automatic user, but even in automatic it still requires you to compose the shot and press the button. The same is true of a work of art. It doesn't paint itself. It takes someone to put it all together and make it happen." It's usually a look of enlightenment, and thinking in a new direction. This is always exciting and it makes me smile.

What a person does with a camera is uniquely up to that individual. The years of learning, experience and skill they have put in honing their craft, their desire to express what they are passionate about all come together to capture an instant of light that we call a photograph. Keep in mind there are no magic potions or secret skills to taking good photos and a quality photo is never because the next person has a 'better' camera. Quite the contrary. It's all about applied learning and your desire to push yourself to the limit and beyond to get better and to learn more. It's also good to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone, think outside of your own box from time to time. It's one of many ways to make progress and personal growth. A change in subject matter from time to time also keeps us fresh and allows us to see and experience things differently. It becomes definitive, practical knowledge, and that is priceless.

Truly amazing pics are inspiring and they are everywhere. You can't help but respect and appreciate the amount of field time, studio time, practice and learning someone has undergone to bring us the viewer his or her vision of what they have seen. The end result is you get out of it what you put into it. As with anything in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it, and to me the more rewarding the end result usually is. I like to push it as far as I can go, and then some!

A camera is a wonderful device! We need to appreciate what it is and what it does for us more. It allows us to remember people and events in our lives, even when we can't. It allows us to see periods in time and history. It allows us to share what we have seen with others from all over the world and see things we might not otherwise see. For me, it's a trusted companion on any road trip I take. I know I can count on it to deliver what I have seen and allow me to share my visual experiences of the world with anyone who might be willing to look. A camera will only do what I make it do, plain and simple. The same is true for your camera. :)

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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