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What the Camera Sees

July 12, 2011

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” I take photographs to see what something looks like as a photograph” – Garry Winogrand

Words of wisdom from the great street photographer Garry Winogrand.

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  One of the most difficult things to do is to capture an image of a scene exactly as you see it. As noted in the previous post, human vision is a subjective thing. The camera is objective, independent of emotions and preconception.  The camera sees the world differently than we do. Talented photographers have learned to see as the camera sees and harness this knowledge to create images that express their vision as opposed to trying to capture a copy of what they are looking at. This is an important distinction.

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W h y   I   S h o o t

   Which leads me to the conclusion of my last post. The reason I pack a camera around on a regular basis. When I began trying to make photographs, as opposed to just taking pictures, I was forced to come to terms with the fact that the camera did not always see things as I did. At first this made me angrier than usual. But since I had no life and nothing better to do I kept at it. I kept reading about techniques and trying them out. Soon experimentation with the camera was teaching me more than the books. Gradually I began to notice that even when I left my camera behind, I was seeing my world differently. The way the light fell on the leaves, the shape of the trees, the form and depth around me. My camera was teaching me to see. Actually it is endeavouring to photograph that is teaching me to see my world in different ways, but I’ll say it’s the camera to justify spending all those fun tickets on it.

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Random shot inserted because I like it and it’s my Blog.

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V i s i o n

   As the camera improved my seeing I was able to begin to capture images that appealed to me (first post, remember?) more often. Put a bunch of these images together, and their common attributes define my unique (some would say too unique) vision of the world. Experiment with a camera and you can discover a new way of seeing, keep the shots you like and review them together and you can discover your vision. I think that’s a good reason to photographasize (new word). And if the images you leave behind express your vision the great-grandkids, or whoever cares to look, will know something of you and not just what you looked like. But that’s for the next post “Document Your Life“.

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From → Ramblings

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