Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to look at it more closely. 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 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 Jeep

The Jeep
The Jeep

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cameras Do...Photographers Dream

The sophistication built into cameras today is quite phenomenal when compared to what was available even just a few years ago. But cameras by themselves do not take photographs they simply do as they are told. It is the visual dreams of the photographer that creates the magic of a great photograph.

I’ve been asked a few times more often than not, questions focused around learning the technical aspects of how to use the camera. Understanding the technical elements is important, but it is not all important. As in most things, you can teach technique, but you cannot teach someone how to dream.
When I speak of visual dreams I am referencing how the photographer imagines the world. It is more emotional than technical. When photographer’s tap into what stirs their imagination and then applies that emotional connection to the world around them, their photographic artistry is magically influenced by those visions.
Seeing the world from an emotional point of view can alter your visual perspective about photography. If all you ever achieve is capturing images of things, then you tend to rely on the intrinsic values of the thing to create your photograph. But when you rely on visualizing the world based on what stirs your emotions, your photography elevates to a higher plane of understanding.
Mechanics can only take you so far, but creative dreams are endless. It is the photographer who taps into that creative desire, who allows himself to focus emotional energy, that will capture amazing images of ordinary things. If all we do is look at objects and photograph objects, we limit ourselves to settle for what that object represents. But when we look beyond the object and see it within the context of our desires to create something beautiful, then something beautiful happens.

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