No, today’s post is not about the need for a more diverse group of people in photography, although that is an interesting subject that I may broach someday, it is about how diverse we are in the subjects we choose, and how we look at those subjects.
There are photographers who can and do make compelling images
of everything and anything. The idea for each of us, is to look at the entire world as a possible subject.
No matter what type of photography anyone claims to be their
specialty, and most photographers label themselves with one, I think
all who are photographically inclined deep down in their hearts, will
make a picture of anything that catches their attention. You’ll have
to take my word for this next part, but I spent just about three
minutes gathering the images for today’s post. I did not investigate any
of my external hard drives, only what stared me in the face on either
of the two lap tops that sit in front of me.
The missing links below are people pictures. Not my strong suit. Yes I
have done weddings, model portfolios, celebrity images at auto races,
and a few more. They are all living or deceased (the pictures not the
people) on film and there is no way I will dig back into that quagmire
for today’s post.
A visual artist or commentator, can only become stronger when they accept more subjects, and more ways to look at those subjects. Strength is good!
Most photographers that I have known personally, make images of a
pretty wide variety of subjects, but most still have limits. It seems
normal to get stuck on a theme until it is out of the photographers
system, and I certainly got stuck on a few themes (especially birds in
winter), but I would often abandon other photographers after at day or
two, or even an hour or two while shooting with them, so I could
I have had photographers treat me as if I was crazy when I stopped
making images of Bald Eagles or owls in the wintertime, to search for
patterns in the ice. I always loved what I was doing at any given time, but so often
there were other pictures in my mind that I just had to go pursue.
Diversity by intent, can be a good thing.
Maybe I haven’t made a lot of pictures of people, but I have
photographed their creations time and time again.
Racing action? Yep those are people in those cars. The Outsider
moniker on this poster of varied types of race cars at speed, was just
something I used in the last couple of years of racing photography.
Admittedly, I enjoy man’s creations even more when they are old.
Actually this “old” covered bridge was actually built in 1992. Still,
it makes for a nice black & white image.
This 19th Century workshop was (for me) all about texture and lines.
In some respects, it isn’t even a product of man to me, it’s a natural
Being a diverse sort of photographer, also allows us to look at larger
scenes like a inner-forest waterfall, and see it piece by piece.
Sometimes the small story makes a more compelling image than the big
Even when we work a big scene in wide angle (18mm), there are ways to
personalize what we share with the world. Seeing in terms of light and
shadows, instead of just the literal subject, helps us create
photographs that do more than just educate.
We can be versatile within a single subject, like wide-angle landscapes.
There are many “pure” wildlife photographers in the world. Some who
will not photograph anything else. I’ve seen them walk right past
gorgeous flowers or compelling landscapes. After I would photograph
some wildlife, I often moved on to something else. If I was
photographing something else, I would frequently change to wildlife.
It seems as though there was no satisfying me, but the truth is, it all
My favorite form of photography was macro. From macro wildlife
(insects etc.), to a dewy web, the world up close is amazing. Still, I
could have never been a “macro only” photographer.
If ten of us were photographing these grasses at sunrise, we would
have come up with ten different pictures. In fact, I came up with at
least that many interpretations myself.
As a photographer, if you see it, I mean truly see it, shoot it.
It’s all about creating and sharing.
Have a diverse sort of day and may God Bless,