Discovering Yourself in Your Pictures

In the final analysis photography is a search.  It is a visual pursuit of both questions and answers.  Most of those questions (and maybe answers) turn out to be as much about ourselves as anything else.  I think that is okay because life is a long journey of self-discovery.

I think most of us (photographers) find our preferred photographic subject through logical means.  If your kids and then your grandkids have always been your life’s focus, children may become the primary subject of your camera.  If you were a tennis player in college, it is likely that you will photograph sports with tennis being your favorite subject.  In my case my first photo subjects were weddings and portraits.   No I’m not really that strange it was just about making money so that I could afford more equipment to photograph what I really wanted.  That was auto racing and sports in general.  In my spare time I pursued a hobby subject.  NATURE.  In 1972 I made my first serious nature photographs of Canada Geese at Horicon Marsh NWR in Wisconsin.  It took until the mid 1980s before nature became my main subject, but I think that deal was really sealed way back in 1972.  I do believe that a truly visually perceptive photographer will rarely turn down the opportunity to make a great photograph no matter what the subject is.  I must admit I have sometimes been critical of nature photographers that only photograph one nature subject.   Birds or landscapes or macros or whatever.  That was born of my own love of all things nature.  I could never understand how anyone can celebrate one aspect of nature and not all of it.  Time passes and I realize that we all are trying to discover ourselves and what that will mean to one photographer will be different than it might be to another.

While I have always loved nature I came to nature photography as a photographer who chose nature as his subject, rather than a naturalist or a zoologist or someone who began photography to record what they see and experience.   I tend to look at my images through the eyes of a photographer.  In other words I look at the whole image to see if it all works rather than only the primary subject.  Through the years I have learned much about nature and have hopefully taught myself to understand my subjects so that I can blend both of those photographic disciplines whenever possible.

We are the one subject that is in each and every image that we make.

Yes there is a piece of me in all of the pictures below.  They are all simple and uncluttered in their composition.  Does that mean that I am simple?  Maybe in intelligence but nobody who has ever known me would say I have a simple personality.  Maybe I make pictures like the ones below in hope that I can someday simplify who I am.  Wilson’s Snipe (top), Double-crested Cormorant and Morgan Falls, Chequamegan N.F., Wisconsin. 

 A few of you who read this blog have been with me since my website.  I should tell you that I am very limited in what I can do on this blog, in comparison to my former website.  I can only display images at a width of 640 pixels.  This limits my horizontals drastically. I cannot change the style or color of my text.  I dislike all of these restrictions but it probably makes a much neater finished product for you to visit.

If there was anything I would have my writings (since 1997) accomplish it would not be to have everyone “see things my way”,  but instead to provide each of you with some simple food for thought.  Only an open mind will ever help create a better (or more interesting) world.

Earth Images on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/groups/earthimages/

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