Invited to see life differently, a person who notices and shares through glass and process is a photographer. Contrary to media portrayal and #Insta-fame, a photographers job is simple, humble, and in many ways unassuming. Job one: to notice.
The other day I was sitting on my apartment stoop, waiting to call my mom on Mother's Day, and looked down. My neighbor and his friend were sitting splayed out with chalk, drawing a giant flower, dogs, and abstract designs. It caught my eye. And it made me think: this is what being a photographer is about. It's about seeing, it's about noticing the beautiful crazy world around you.
It's easy to let photography roll into elitism and become all about the tool of the trade: the camera. Which camera you use, how many megapixels it has, and the latest one just released are the least important parts of photography. One of my photography heroes, Ansel Adams, once wrote:
"A great photograph is knowing where to stand." -Ansel Adams
I refer to this quote all the time in my classes and workshops. I love what Adams doesn't say. Think about it for a moment... What isn't being communicated in his words?
By talking about the photographer's position, the negative space of his words implies great photography is not about the camera, how many megapixels it has, when it was released, how much it cost, or even what lens you have on the camera.
When we get caught up in the consumer side of photography it looses its soul. Photography is about seeing the world, calling attention to the overlooked beauty within it, asking people to engage with what's around them in their every day. Photography is a process, even in its finished form.
So let's return to the old adage, the best camera is the one you use, and let's go see our world today.
Using whatever camera you have available (smartphone, point and shoot, or DSLR) and take 5-photographs of the world around you. Then share your favorite with me on my Facebook page. I can't wait to see what you see today.