Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Lens of New Light - Essay #1

Life is full of potential and many things to do, places to go, people to meet and photos to take! Simplistic or eventful as life can be, it is always adventurous, always interesting and always there for us. Not everyone thinks of grabbing the camera as a necessity, along with car keys, sunglasses and pocket cash while walking out the door. Nevertheless, maybe more should. Looking through the camera gives the opportunity to see things in a new light and expand personal growth.

The person who brings the camera finds personal satisfaction in sharing the story with others. There may be feelings of inadequacy with the responsibility. There is trial period of practice while settling into an artistic style. Taking pictures connects the photographer with the photograph. There is a sense of control while taking pictures. Conversations develop when taking pictures of people. Bonds form in the midst of smiles coaxed for the camera. Fun and laughter of camaraderie brings individuals together with a group photo. Children are entertained when attention is on them while taking pictures. Carolyn Lane is a Haiti volunteer who was taking pictures of children and realized that they were not smiling. She found out that they did not get their pictures taken often and were trying to be serious. Once she shared the photos with the children, they became excited and smiled for the pictures then on out (Gienow). Children draw into the event when seeing themselves in the viewfinder window. Children encourage the photographer to take more.

If there is luck, if there is good light, if the subject is in focus and if the mind is calm, astounding pictures can happen. When the camera is the photographer’s eyes, countless more perspectives become available. A blurred splash of distinct colors promotes a child’s view while on the bedroom floor. Radiant sunlight illuminates through a forest of dandelion speckled expanse of lawn. When focus narrows down a fencerow, the depth and distance create the illusion of time receding. Creative photos project an intentional point of view for others to perceive.

Interesting facts are uncovered when researching specific photos. Researching photos on the internet, or otherwise, is entertaining because they are oft times manipulated in some way. The media does ‘stage’ photos for journalistic reasons. Popular magazines air brushes the model’s pictures and contorts their figures to make them appear flawless and irregularly proportioned from the real life human figure. Robyn Ryan, writer for Choice magazine, expresses her dismay at being misled when she purchased an Ebay item without investigating the photograph’s authenticity (11). By researching photos, there is also opportunity to look up an evasive species of plant life, an odd bug or investigating a treasured antiques’ value. Interest deepens when investigating a particular brand or breed with similar reputable photos. Facts are uncovered and may lead the curious photographer onto new interests.
Looking through the lens gives the opportunity to look for an original style. Photographer Jonny Briggs expresses that he constructs his own style by using digital photography and photo manipulation to recreate the past through puzzling pictures together in seamless montages (“Photography & Image”). Taking pictures is a chance to save a memory with a certain perspective in mind. It is a personal preference. Individuals have their own unique style, own unique way of interacting with people and objects, and own unique artistic flair. By reflecting within creates an individual style. Distinct personalities emerge when experimenting with new styles and techniques. By viewing and interacting with other artists, mix and matching styles, fresh ideas develop. Entering contests encourages thought about theme and style, narrows focus and is an opportunity to try something different. Journals are for keeping ideas and dreams for creative inspiration. Keeping the mind open, scanning for opportunities and following the light can lead to many new discoveries.

There are so many wonderful miraculous sights. The way the light shines through the tree leaves or blinking of fireflies in the warm summer’s night, there are many wonders to behold. If captured in a jar and secured with a hole studded lid, the flies bright sparkle, even for a brief time, is captured for thoughtful up close inspection. Detained fireflies are a curious form of enjoyment and appreciation. Fireflies set free will continue their journey in life. With photography, small snippets, a fraction of reality, is memory saved in a photo. The fireflies will fly free; the photo will obtain the memory.

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