A point of view isn’t just a political opinion. It isn’t just how we
view see the world around us in so far as the human race, or the human
condition. Our point of view can be how we as individuals, literally
with our brain, our eyes and our heart, see what is in front of us. Do we all see
the same thing when we look at that lake or that mountain? How about a
flower or a some birds flying?
It was once thought that painting was the way to express one’s individual
viewpoint of the world around them. While to paint and do so well
takes amazing talent, it is a genuine departure from reality.
Photography, designed to capture reality, is a better barometer of
just how differently each of us sees what is actually around us. The
differences from one photo, or from one photographer to another, might
be slight, but it just might say more about who we are than the
differences between two painters.
Just a few examples today. The potential subjects are endless.
Water is a fluid subject (no pun intended) and to me, how different
photographers treat water as a subject, and what lengths they go to
find water that produces different visual effects, says a lot about a
Falling water is open to interpretation and I find that for me, moving
water in and of itself, is a powerful subject.
Spider webs trap water. That doesn’t mean that every dewy web is just
like the last one. In fact, what is in back of the web is just as
important as the web and the water are. The act of the search for dewy
webs, and where and how each photographer looks for those subjects, says
almost as much as composition and exposure.
Below we have a water covered sheet web, and the same with an orb web.
What do you believe you might have done differently than I did? It’s
all a matter if viewpoint.
I always enjoyed finding new ways of looking at water. Also sand and
its texture. Also sunrise and the color it promotes.
The crop, is one way today that all photographers maximize their
personal point of view. Every subject has more than one way to be
viewed. The crop, is a form of personal expression. I actually prefer the qualities in the un-cropped photo above.
I cropped this sand dune, until it became nothing but tiny little
repeating patterns. That was somewhat my point of view when I made the
photo. It became my primary way of seeing the subject at home when I
was editing it.
Still, for me the best way make a statement with a photo, was and is
to “see it” while you are in the field making the image. Such was the
case when I made this image of a somewhat primeval appearing dead tree
My “viewpoint” when I was photographing birds in flight, was mostly to
get great shots that were tack sharp. One day I just didn’t feel like
doing that again. I created motion blurred flight shots of birds
probably only three or four times in my photographic life, but on
those days, that was my viewpoint. Maybe it is better to say that it
was my point of view. We all have one, and artistically it just might
change from one day to the next. Songwriters do not write the same
song over and over again.