Friday, February 10, 2012

Why photograph?

(a Weekly Top Shot entry)

Why do we photograph what we do?  This would be a snap to answer if I were a professional photographer.  I'd be taking pictures for a publication or a beautiful wedding or a graduating class but, a professional, I am not.  It's a question that has briefly entered my mind but was never really answered.   I really have to give this some thought.
Morning sky reflected in the lake at the
foot of Mt. Snow, Vermont
I know I get great pleasure out of it, it's a creative outlet for me, it keeps me sane but, there are those days when it drives me absolutely crazy.  I'm sure you've been there (or is it just me?)...those days when I'm telling myself I should have paid more attention to that chapter about layers or why can't I get that same dreamy effect on my photos that I see in that other blog or why am I out here in this blazing heat (drenching rain, freezing snow, bitter cold, morning fog...fill in the blank) with my camera trying to get a shot that I really don't have a solid reason for creating.  And then there are those days (and they are many!) when I am sitting at my desk dreaming, yearning, ruminating over getting out of this cement box called an office building, camera in hand, with nothing else to do but shoot, shoot, shoot!
Shells my son brought home from a vacation long ago.
I started to think about WHY as I was looking through some old photos, trying to fill in missing spots in my blog that were inadvertently deleted (hmmmmm).  In so many instances there are photos that have no rhyme nor reason for existing (I think).  Some of them are pictures of the strangest things.  I think there are a few where I can't even identify the subject.  Yikes!  BUT, I still took them and I still like them and I'm still keeping them (thank goodness for the 2TB external hard drive!).
Water cascades down the side of a rock fountain
at Rutgers Gardens.
Giving some more thought to WHY, I guess I might say I shoot because it is creative but it's also exciting.  You never really know what you've got until you get it on the computer monitor or on photo paper - surprise!  And it's a forever-learning experience...there is always some new information, idea, or equipment coming out to wrap your head around.  But I think it all boils down to passion.  You can have all the best equipment and have read all the latest technology and be able to regurgitate it back to anyone who will listen but, at the end of the day, you shoot because you have a passion.
One of my 100-yr. old attic windows soon
to be replaced by something more efficient but with less character.
That's it!  We are a bunch of very passionate people!  Now, please excuse me while I go passionately re-read that chapter about layers.  Ugh!


  1. The photo bug strikes us in different ways at different times. Love the instant gratification and editing too which digital photography affords us.

  2. Photography is just so magical - a way to express ourselves too. I hope you save that old window!

  3. What a wonderful series... I love those lake reflections.. and the nail in the window sill, love the texture there! I'm so glad you decided to join us and share at Weekly Top Shot :-) I hope you'll come share again next week!

  4. Lovely set Helene.
    Good question to open with.
    I take pictures for me, and if other people enjoy them, then that's good :-)

  5. Excellent post, excellent questions and at the end and excellent conclusion.
    We photograph because we love photographic art and it is our passion, obsession.
    I like your photos, especially the last one.

    Regards and best wishes

  6. Great photo work...super...
    Greeting Karin

  7. That is a great reflection shot...perfect exposure.

  8. What a wonderful post! Gorgeous photos, outstanding questions.

  9. pretty sweet shots! don't fight it, i say. ;o)

  10. A wonderful read! I think you hit on all the many reasons we can never stop our photographic journeys.
    Your images are filled with thought and imagination, and beauty. I'm glad I found you!

  11. Claude MONEt is not far in your first picture...
    Best regards from France,


  12. Wonderful pictures on your blog.....good work.

    Greetings from Holland, Joop


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