About Something

According to Mike, our photography needs to be about something.  Most people interpret that to mean about particular subjects processed in a particular way that makes the images recognizable in terms of the particular photographer that made them.  While that isn’t necessarily what Mike means, he uses pictures as an example of that concept.

Mike says:  “Take a fearless inventory of your past work, appraise your strengths objectively, and find the thing that has energy for you and that you’re good at and then don’t be afraid to give it some commitment.  It’s okay.  You don’t have to do everything.”

I have done as Mike said and have kept coming up with a blank in the past.  I so wanted to settle down on one thing, something that gave me energy to go out and make pictures which were unique to me and that worked well in my blog.  Some of this intent was also due to the recommendation of others that a blog should be limited to one subject, etc.

It is only recently that I have come to understand that what I really like, what gives me the energy to pursue photography, is light and the process of making pictures.  It doesn’t matter too much what the subject is as long as it attracts my attention and enables me to work on an image of it.  For my personal images, I don’t take pictures of something.  I take pictures to display something about the subject.  For that reason, I don’t like to take pictures to record something, to document exactly how it looked, etc.  I refer to those as snapshots of limited interest to me.  I take those type of photographs for historical use and for publication here at Homewood since others like them; and since I often manage to photograph a detail or two that fits what I like … something that I can spend some time on while processing it and then using it in my blog.

I like to go out with a camera every day and look for light, shadows, colors, etc. that I can photograph and then return home and spend some time processing.  This often means that I make pictures of details like the above sections of an evening sky and like below.  My pictures are about light and how I see it.  That is why you see various subjects in my pictures and blog, and various ways of processing the images, including monochrome as well as rich colors.  I prefer to make pictures about light and how I see it.  As such, I end up taking a lot of pictures just to see what can be found in them.  Since I don’t travel much, the subjects are mostly common things around where I live.

PS, I haven’t been mentioning much about what camera or settings I used since I’m finding them to be less important.  For example, I used a Fujifilm X-T1 and a 60 mm lens to make the sky pictures and an Olympus TG-4 point and shoot camera taking jpeg images to make the last two monochrome images.  These cameras represent a widely separated set of capabilities, settings, cost, etc. and both are capable of getting images for me to work with.  And yes, I now have two cameras.  I recently obtained the TG-4 for a camera I can carry in a pocket in any conditions to make high constrast B&W pictures.


    • John Holmes

      No, but I probably should have. I made a decision to get rid of all of my cameras but one, so I moved 7 out to others and just kept my Fuji X-T1. I then purchased an Olympus TG-4 for a rough, small, waterproof camera for pocket carry in rain, etc.