In my pursuit of growing as a photographer I came across a wonderful training video on Lynda.com by aurhor Chris Orwig. The video title was ‘Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith‘.
During the interview Chris Orwig asks Rodney Smith a question of what makes a photograph good. The answer that Mr. Smith gave really struck me.
Rodney Smith talked about a photographer being at a location and surrounded by sights, sounds, smells, and the weather. All of these combinding together to create a three demensional experience.
Now the photographer has the challenge of only taking a small slice of this experience away and qualifying it down to only a two dimensional image. It becomes even more of a challenge in asking someone to then like the image without ever having experienced the full extent of where the image was taken from.
This is quite a task. Especially when we are in an era of being bombarded with millions of images. And we want people to like the picture. Now people may not care about us, and they weren’t there when the picture was taken. They may not even care about the subject of the picture.
Now if a photographer is able to do all of this, it’ a really strong step in the right direction of creating a good photograph.
Rodney Smith then went on to talk about always working towards taking great pictures. That regardless of who the photographer is the person may only take about twenty to twenty-five great pictures in their life that people may want to see year after year.
As a photographer we always go out with the intention of taking great pictures but what constitutes taking a great picture is something hard to describe.
Rodney finially after a lot of reflecting back on his experience said that he didn’t know what makes a great picture. You just have to do the best you can and that sometimes people will just really like your images
The impression that I was left with after listening to the interview was that taking great pictures is really a journey. One life long journey of just doing the best you can. As you get more experience you begin to see, and capture, and create better images.
Photography is not something you just arrive at. It’ something you forever move towards.
This was a very good interview.