I love the Northern Hemisphere
Everything is so stunning I cannot take pictures of it all
I’m so so happy I finally get to share these photos with ya’ll, since it took me forever to get my laptop to cooperate so I could edit them. : ) I have been working with my new camera a lot more, and getting prouder of the photos I take. Really excited about photographing more and more this year!!
A lot of you have asked me to share photos here. But honestly, I’ve been putting it off because well. . .I already share them on Instagram (and sometimes Twitter). And to share them on my blog too. . .idk, it feels a little excessive.
I’m actually not sure if I’m qualified to talk about this, because until very recently, I never even considered the question – is photography art? But sometimes I get lots of thoughts about something and well. . .writing is where I go to sort it all out.
Welcome to the chaos.
I used to think, it doesn’t matter what people think about photography, because I’m going to do it anyway. And that’s a good thing, I guess. If I worry too much about if what I’m doing is “art” then I might stop. And that isn’t a good thing. Creativity isn’t about perfection, after all. It’s about following your curiosity.
I have been reading a lot photography books lately, and absorbing a lot of Ansel Adams. I’ve flipped through South With Endurance (which I highly recommend because it’s marvelous). I watched a Netflix series following photographers around the world as they photographed cultures and exotic animals. I learned the photography world is so much bigger than my little space and my little camera.
Because photography is such a broad medium, it leaves a lot of room for confusion when it comes to defining exactly what photography is. An art? A science? A reflection of reality? All of the above?
Some say that photography can’t be an art because it’s so accessible. Cameras are available to anyone who wants one, and even if you don’t want to carry around an extra piece – your cell phone doubles as a camera (remember when the iPhone 7+ came out and everyone was chatting about its photo quality?). Editing turns into a quick tap, and viola! – it’s good enough for Instagram. In theory, we could all call ourselves “photographers.” Right?
Others say that photography isn’t art because of repeatability: the ability to make exact replicas of any photo, many times over. On the flip side, you couldn’t do that with, say, a painting. To copy a painting, you’d actually have to “paint” another copy. But even if you did that, your “copy” still wouldn’t be exactly the same as the original.
Even the “copy” is unique – something you can never do with photography. You don’t have to go out and take the same picture again. You can just make another one.
Repeatability applies to film photography as well as digital. Granted, it is more work to produce a print in the darkroom than it is to replicate a JPEG, but it’s still the same concept. You can imagine how widespread “repeatability” is for digital photography.
I can’t cover every variation here, but if you’re interested
here are a few articles + videos I found wildly helpful.
– The Line Between Art and Photography | an A+ explanation of repeatability
– Is Photography an Art Form?
– Photography is Not Creative | he uses the word “creative” instead of “art”, but his point is excellent all the same.
– Harold Feinstein :: Is Photography Art? | Harold’s answer to the question is the best part of this episode.
Technology has made photography feel cheap. Too easy – like anyone can pick up an iPhone and become Instagram famous. It’s certainly easy to say that photographs have become “too common” to be art. I agree with anyone who says that the digital age has blurred the lines between “art” and “whatever it is we call people doing – which they say is art.”
The overabundance of photos does diminish the individual image. Photographers have to work harder to create something unique and unforgettable if they want to “make it.” Not to mention that it’s harder to “sell” photographs nowadays unless you work for a magazine, do weddings or something.
I don’t, however, think you can lump all photography into one box and say: none of this is art because photography too common!
Let’s have an example, shall we?
– master of the darkroom
– one of the greatest landscape photographers
– discovered the Zone System (which I have still yet to full understand)
– his prints still sell for millions.
As I read his books, one common thread I found was the emphasis he put on visualization. On seeing what a photograph will look like before you shoot it, and then framing decision you make around that so you create the exact “look” you visualized.
This was news to me, and something I hadn’t thought much about. My photography is almost never pre-planned, instead it goes something like: if I think it looks pretty, I shoot it.
Maybe that works sometimes – and it certainly produces pretty photos. What this method is not, however, a recipe for timeless, expressive photographs. Think about the greatest photographers: Ansel Adams, Stephen Dupont (this is my opinion here), Frank Hurley, and others. Their work is unforgettable, isn’t it? But why?
Think about these photos: What is it about them that draws you?
Here’s what: it’s emotion. Emotion – plain and simple. Sure, there might be a dozen other factors involved: eye-catching composition, proper exposure, visually-pleasing/interesting subject. But emotion, in the end, is what allows them to have a life beyond their technical slices. < < < That I think, might be what separates photography as "art” and photography as a “pretty photo.”
Porter says it best:
“The essential quality of a photograph is the emotional impact that it carries,
which is a measure of the author’s success in translating into photographic
terms his own emotional response to the subject.”
|| Eliot Porter
After all, isn’t this why art matters to us? The assurance that we are not alone, that we do not die alone, that something matters, that life is beautiful? Art speaks: either emotionally or aesthetically.
There is photography that speaks, just look at the photos above. So we can’t lump all photography together, just like we can’t lump all books together because we dislike YA. There are different genres of photography, just like there are different genres of books or music or whatever.
So. . .
Not every photography genre is art.
Not every photograph is art.
I’m not saying that photography isn’t creative (I absolutely believe it is). Creating things is creative – whether that’s painting or music or writing. It certainly takes creativity to put together a bookstagram photo or a flat lay. But it is “art“? Eh, I don’t think so.
So. These are my preliminary thoughts on a matter. I really do apologize if they are jumpy or random, as I’m not 100% fluent in what everyone has to say about photography as an art. This is just what I’ve seen and read and heard. *shrugs*
A long time ago, I added this tag to the list I keep titled something like, “post ideas I’d like to do. . .someday. . .maybe.” So last week when I opened up that list looking for ideas, I was surprised to find that I had been tagged over three months ago! I read about bloggers apologizing for being late at doing tags, and you know what? – now, I know what it’s like to be the late one. (so sorry Lydia).
Today is March 25th, but these photos weren’t taken today because getting photos off my camera is a long process that invokes Dropbox + hours of editing with a cup of coffee and music. But. . .they were all taken within a short time of each other and they’re all accurate reflections of my typical Sunday.
0600 / Mornings are my favorite time of day. I love the feeling of getting up before everyone else and sitting quiet with a cup of coffee until the sun rises.
0630 / Sunday is the day when I comment on all your blogs. I like setting aside one day of the week to “batch comment” because then I don’t have to worry about it throughout the week.
0655 / Time to feed the goats. sometimes I can hold them off until 0700, but it’s not happening today. They’re starting to wake the neighborhood. The day is warm, so I run barefoot to the shed and toss their hay over the fence. I catch the last of the sunrise before I go back inside.
0800 / turn off laptop. make bed. rinse out coffee cup. chores.
0845 / breakfast.
1200 / Lunch. Seriously, the best part of being an adult is cooking your own food.
1500 / Feed the goats again. Help Brothers with homework. Write my to-do list. Sit and study for a while because I have a pile of photography books to go through.
I’m currently reading:
– Digital Landscape Photography | Michael Frye
– Understanding RAW Photography | David Taylor
– The Blood Race | K.A. Emmons (I finished it already, but still. . .)
1600 / Working out is not a habit I like making, but it’s a necessary one, so. . .
running shoes off.
2 miles. stretch.
(POI has some high-intensity tracks for running, just FYI)
1740 / Almost time to start dinner, and like most days, I turn on music while I cook.
(I listen to a lot of soundtracks, guys, I’m sorry).
1830 / dinner + sunset. My house faces west, so the lighting while I get dinner on is amazing. And it’s been raining nearly ever day this week, so the clouds are rolling in and making beautiful shapes.
1855 / dinner. clean up. family devotions. shower.
2000 / (publish this blog post) work on a project in front of Netflix #notprocrastinatingjustmultitasking
2100 / lights out.
What I learned was: a). this harder than it looks. b). Taking photos (and only ten), and setting them within a theme (your day) – it’s the recipe for a great photography project. So I really, really appreciate the tag, Lydia, and I hope you liked it. 😉
I already had a post scheduled for tonight. I was going to share some photos and talk about my photography goals for 2018. The photos will still be here, but instead of sharing my photography goals, I’m going to ramble on about something I don’t know anything about: setting goals.
But wait, Keira. You said you had photography goals. And now you’re telling me you don’t know anything about setting goals?
I promise I’ll explain at the end.
I have never been the kind of person who makes “goals.” Which is a great way to start this off – hey, I don’t make goals but I promise you I have something to say about them.
I’m not a fickle person, I promise you.
This year has been different from other years. The feeling that I need to start setting goals for myself has intensified in the past month. I realize that a). I’m getting older and I need to pick the roads I’m going to travel down. b). I need to define what those roads are instead of just figuring it out as I go.
It first started with photography. I got this awesome new camera last month, and I realized that I need to focus on creating better photographs. It started with, hey these are things I really want to work on next year. let me write a post about it and share it with everyone.
But there was this voice at the back of my mind, you shouldn’t share your goals online when you have such a horrible curve towards procrastination.
I dismissed that voice because I thought it was trying to talk me out of something: (Don’t share your goals because there’s a small, small chance you won’t actually meet them.)
So I wrote the blog post anyway, and scheduled it.
That brings me to Monday afternoon, surfing YouTube. I watched this video, and that’s when I knew I had to scrap the blog post. Watching it made me realize that setting goals is so much more than just writing stuff down that you think is cool and want to accomplish. <<<< that, if anything is a recipe for failure because you're not actually being intentional, taking stock of the resources you have, and using them for the best purposes. You may even set unreasonable goals for yourself, and then you'll be disappointed when you don't accomplish them.
What I took away from the video was this: You don’t book plane tickets to travel the world, if you don’t have enough gas money to get to the airport.
And I think what I did was get caught up in, ahhhh I want do so many things. When actually: it’s going to be a lot harder than I thought.
Obviously there are times when you set goals just to see if you can push yourself hard enough, to push the limits of what you think you can do. That’s awesome and amazing, and it definitely keeps you from growing comfortable.
But it’s not me, right now.
I can’t start there. I need to take some time, sit and write out all these thought spirals until I know where I’m going and why. Taking small steps first, and seeing where they lead.
I hope this explains why I said in the beginning that I made goals, but I actually didn’t know what I was doing. I’m worried that it won’t make sense, because I wrote it all in a rush when I usually sit down and perfect every sentence.
Here’s to honesty, right guys?
By far my favorite part of Chanukah this year, was getting to test out my camera’s low light abilities. I had been looking for the perfect opportunity, and she did not disappoint.
I’m so happy with how these turned out. Lights are so pretty, aren’t they? Goodness.