What is Photography? According to Wikipedia, Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.
That is as good as an explanation as I can give. To a journalist or street photographer, it may merely be a medium used to capture and document a scene. To a landscape photographer, it may be more of an art used to evoke an emotion.
I, for example, take photographs, not pictures. Pictures are selfies and snapshots you or I may take throughout the day. Photographs belong on a wall. They are either art or documentation of a time, scene and/or event that can’t be captured again. A simple example of this would be wedding photographs. The wedding of two people usually only happens once, so it is important to not only capture it, but to save the prints. If and when the digital world ever crashes, it may be all you have left.
There are scientific elements, of course, but after doing it for years, I do it without thinking. There is the exposure triangle to help you with ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed, but at this point in my career, I can look up at the sky and know where my settings need to be without thinking. That took years of making mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. An overexposed photograph has happened to the best of us.
Then there is the composition element of a photograph. There is the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry to name but a few. They are important to learn in order to be respected by your peers, but once you learn them and prove you know them, you can break them. I enjoy breaking rules. 🙂
The image below, for example, is moody but far from perfect. It is unbalanced. Think of content you see as weight. If you put that weight on a scale, it would tip to the left.
The composition in the next photograph is perfect, but it doesn’t have the soul (Does that even make sense?) of the previous photo and it doesn’t evoke emotion.
The last photo in this series is from Inch beach in County Kerry, Ireland. It is a special photograph to me, because I was there and it helps me remember that day and the fun we had running down the beach. One similar to this sold within a day of publishing it, so the place is special and I got all the elements correct that day.
Photography, like any other medium or anything in life, is what you make of it and how hard you work towards improving your craft. I’ll be doing a post every week focusing on Photography. My life is full of ironies. I’m a photographer with one eye and a podcaster with one ear. Life is entertaining. 🙂