the Proto Photographer

Photography is an action, not a response

Amateur Photography

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Especially now, in the days of digital photography, it’s frighteningly common to witness someone, like myself, standing in front of an interesting-enough scene with a very expensive digital camera, clicking away frantically with brief pauses to fumble through the camera’s manual settings. There’s no intent in these pictures, just a blind hope that one out of the thousand images will be accidentally impressive enough to justify blowing their entire 2009 bonus on a dSLR.

To anyone who finds themselves frustrated and stuck in the scenario I’ve described, I would suggest a novel alternative: try to create a narrative with your next photo. Or construct a portrait with a friend that shows them how you truly see them. Choose an emotion or an idea that you want to convet and photograph it on your own terms. Set up your own lights, even if they’re just hall lamps. Choose your location and study it before you ever hit a shutter release.

It’s fun to walk around and let the universe present you with happy accidents. But conveying a thought or emotion through your photos is, more times than not, a profoundly rewarding end to what is, more times than not, a profoundly enlightening process.