Thursday, June 4, 2009

Taking Pictures, Sharing Pictures, and Growing

065/365 - 04-Jun-09 - Rainy Places
Originally uploaded by Seton Droppers

What is it about taking pictures? And why do I share them?

I have never really figured this out. I know I love several aspects of taking pictures. Sometimes it is simply the technical act of capturing the picture in the first place. I love it when technology does something neat. There has always been magic in seeing something in front of me and attempting to "catch" it, and later sharing what I have captured. There is transformation as well. When I was in seventh or eighth grade art class we had our first lessons in darkroom technique. What fun to process our film, then project the image through the enlarger, and create the print. Of course the alchemy of watching the print develop, the stop bath, the fixer, and the washing were important.

Today I have gone all digital. Being a good geek I love watching my computer churn for a while to produce some amazing new creation. My work life has been technology. Filling the "pipes" to the Internet and web. Can I find an application that completely fills the technology I am charged with caring for? Disks, fiber optics, data bases, CPU cycles -- Watch the application chew them up. Movies are great places to wonder about technology. Exactly how many computers did they use to create the latest Star Trek movie, for example?

OK, so what does all this have to do with photography? The answer, I think, is now I am not satisfied simply taking the picture -- The picture needs to "say" something. Now I am not talking about technology. I am not talking about something I can write down a list of rule that make it work. I just don't always get it. I see something that attracts my attention, I attempt to capture that, and I try to print it and share it and it looks just, well, not "special". At least to me. Some of you disagree with the "not special", you tell me about how the image speaks to you, or you find it an interesting and new way of seeing, or that it captures the moment. Thank you. I enjoy the encouragement, perhaps more than you know.

But I am still not satisified. I have images and ideas that are fighting to get out and I simply can't figure out what questions to ask, how to capture the magic, what makes the picture. And it is even harder when I am using the Web. Back in art class there were people and we talked. Well some of us/you tried while others (me for example) built the habit of hiding in a corner and not risking hearing what you would say. So here I am in my little world, taking pictures, trying to biuld some friendships where I am willing to trust the comments and criticism without crying (too much) and improving. But I just can't quite seem to do it since every says Trust Yourself. I will keep working, but can I also find a place to get encouragement and help figuring out what I am?