Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Windows of Nature - A Pathway to Creativity

I find it useful at times to compare photography to playing a piano.  This may sound somewhat strange, but when you think about it, it actually makes sense.  You see there are a lot of people who can play a piano...they've learned how to read the notes and to mechanically reproduce them on the piano...they are technically competent.  The music sounds okay but lacks something.  Then there are those artists who are able to move beyond simply playing the notes, they have such an understanding of music they are able to impart a sense of emotion and feeling into their playing.  You know it when you hear sounds different...with more depth and power.  Photography is the same way.  With the technology available today almost anyone can take a technically competent photograph where all the basic elements are present, but the image lacks in emotion and impact...they are able to play the notes, but lack understanding of how to generate that emotional response in a photograph.  The difference between the two is passion and vision.

Outdoor photography is 10 percent technical and 90 percent being able to see photographically.  It involves looking beyond the obvious and filtering through all the clutter to focus in on what is truly important.  It's understanding how to use composition to define your subject and combining it with color, shape, and form to generate an image with impact.  It is a concept that rarely reaches an end point, but one that is continually refined.  It is a blending of technique with artistic vision.  Together, combined with passion, the windows of nature become a pathway to creativity.

Jack Dykinga, a world class photographer, made a statement some years ago that changed the way I approach photography.  It transformed how I think and how I look for photographic solutions.  What he said was;

 "Camera's and Lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film...Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs...Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul"..

Light's magic colors...nature is filled with it...our eyes observe it...our hearts feel it...our souls yearn for it.  Are you simply a note player...or do you have a vision for your photography that will carry you toward creating images that stir the soul?


1 comment:

Warren Baldwin said...

Great photography, and I like your comments about your work. And I think Jack Dykinga's comment is right on.

Nice blog. I linked here from Kristin's blog.