Why do you enjoy photography? Why might it be a passion for you? Is it the challenge of mastering the manual setting of a camera? Maybe you just like preserving memories. Is it how you make your living? If you’ve never taken a minute to jot down just why it is that you enjoy photography then I would challenge you to do so. Write it down so that 50 years from now, as your family is looking through the thousands of photographs you took on their iPad 72, they will be able to look at your photographs as if they are looking through the viewfinder with you. Your photography is part of your legacy, a way of sharing a piece of yourself that does not have a monetary value.
Photography started as an expensive hobby for me, something to distract me from my everyday routine that I had become very accustomed to. It was the challenge of finding the perfect harmony of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance that most attracted me. I wanted to capture photographs that showed exactly what I saw when I looked at the world. Quickly, I learned that a camera does not see the world as we do. Taking photographs of a sunset and expecting the sky and ground to be clearly exposed the way your eyes see it (with deep color in the sky and a light, rich in detail, ground) is a frustrating thing. It’s the kind of thing that can make a quitter out of some would-be photographers. I learned that there is not a camera in this world that could capture the detail and exposure that our eyes could, it’s just not possible (HDR is a step in the right direction but it does not appeal to me). My hobby developed into a passion once I learned how to use my camera and turn its limitations into advantages, creative advantages. Photography to me is a way of communicating without ever opening your mouth, a universal language that evokes passion and creativity.
“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
The photograph at the top of the article is of an old work bench in an even older barn, the barn was my great grandparents. My grandfather, who was my hero growing up, worked for my great-grandfather in this very barn. He passed away a few years ago. Walking into the barn it looked as though time had stopped some 50 years ago, things were left right where they had been when it was full of life. When I saw the work bench I could see my grandfather standing in front of it, as if he was really there, working on some contraption to make life a little easier. He was a bit of an inventor you see, always creating things out of old otherwise useless junk. I think he would have liked photography had he had the time for hobbies.
Have you got a story about why you chose photography over stamp collecting or horseback riding? We would love to hear it! Send it in and we will feature it on PhotolisticLife for others to read and share. Your story may motivate others to find their passion as well.