Seeing Beyond The Technical
Utilizing your creative vision
There was a time, in the not so distant past when I would simply take photos of things that caught my eye. Whether I was drawn in by the beauty, intrigue, mystery, or simply fascination with the details, I knew I wanted to capture it. At this time in my life I was fuelled only by my creative instinct, and had no formal knowledge of what made a technically good photograph. And being void of this technical knowledge, I took photographs that spoke to me and had much more of a story behind them. It was a simpler time. A time I’ve been struggling to get back the last few years.
I appreciated the act of taking a photo much more then, but over the years grew to mostly see my photography in a technical and sterile manner; an unfortunate side effect of me getting caught in other people’s opinions (that they tout as fact) about photography, and tamping down my own creative instinct and spirit. Finally coming to this conclusion after many years of examining what exactly has gone wrong on my journey with photography, has me looking back in the archives.
The above photo was taken on a very cheap Sony a290 w/18-55mm kit lens that I bought in 2011. It was my first “serious” foray into digital photography, as I had quietly fought switching from film. Up until this point all I knew was that I loved photography, and was always out and about taking photos of things. This scene drew me in because of the light & shadows from the left, the symmetry (even if only seen by me), the beautiful lines of the architecture, and the approaching dust/smoke (not sure which one) in the sky to the right. And that’s it.
Below are few images I took around the same time frame. The Sony only stayed with me for a limited time, so I also tried out an Olympus e420, and a few of the images below were taken with it; the others with my Sony. I was beginning to discover things such as shallow DoF and how it helped isolated you subject, which was pretty cool. Before then, my photos had been pretty flat.
Looking back on these images I can see how far I’ve come in my knowledge, but I surely do miss being that curious photographer, who simply sees beauty and captures it. Some of my favourite photos were taken during this time of learning and exploration. Back before I started judging my work as sub par and driving myself to distraction with gear swaps and the pursuit of nothing but the “best” images. Such a waste of my time and a sure way to rob you of the joy of photography. I won’t to embrace that curious photographer in me and never let her go!
In other news… I started my Social Media & Sugar Free Lent on Wednesday, and all I can say is that I could use a slice of cake (any will do) and some mind numbing laughs via Instagram Reels. Ha! But really, the sugar free part is the hardest part. I’ve become quite a lover of sweets in my 40’s and I know I need to kick that habit. I try to kickstart kicking the habit every year for Lent, and I usually make it through the 40 days just fine, but go right back to cakes and chocolates after the fact.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope you have a lovely weekend and until next time… be loving, be kind, and be better!
I find some of my best (or at least my favourite) work came more in the discovery phase of my photography. Since then I think we both can agree we fell into the technical trap for a while and through our discussions, we've managed to get away from that mindset.
Nowadays I focus less on the "banger shot" and more on the "what am I thinking/feeling" and trying to communicate that through my work. Almost back to where I started really.
Interesting. There´s no way to untie photography from technical progress. Other arts like painting or literature of course changed with progress, but mainly due to the change of human mind; painting and writing were always done basically in the same manner. But photography was an invention. In my view though the idea of untie your mind from the gear you use is not a bad one.