Yesterday I finished a course on Lynda.com called “Finding Your Style as a Photographer” by John Keatley.
Keatley presented the wonderful juxtaposition between being an artist and being a photographer. While I thought that being an artist just made someone more creative Keatley talked about being an artist from a totally different angle. An artist knows what they want and actively purses it. When they are approached for a project their style and ideas have already been revealed in their past work.
In contrast is the photographer who tends to change their style and rhythm with each project – adapting as needed. A photographer’ work may start in taking portraits for one project and move over to photojournalism for another then on to landscape photography.
The key point that Keatley was leading to was knowing your individual style and letting it influence and drive your craft. While Keatly did say the journey to finding your personal style would take months or even years it was a journey that would very rewarding none the less.
This really started me into thinking what was influencing my style and approach to photography. While I do enjoy nature and wildlife, it is the simpler things in life that end up grabbing my attention.
As I thought more about this I found myself gravitating towards common everyday things. Things that may otherwise have gone unnoticed or passed by simply for being plain or normal.
So when I went on a nature walk today around my neighborhood I made the effort to look for ‘common things’. Things that could easily be overlooked while being deep in thought or as I rushed by. Things that could be missed simply for being common. I needed to slow down and look what was around me.
There is a pond close to where I live that various birds inhabit all summer long. Geese, ducks, sea-gulls and other birds can be seen there almost all day long. Today I decided to just sit quietly and watch and as I was waiting I was able to take to take a great shot.
As I walked around the neighborhood I found may other shots that were seeming just begging to be noticed – bird houses, stray leaves, old withered flowers. The following are some of the things that could have been passed by a thousand times before grabbing my attention as I walked by.
I’m sure my photography journey will take me to many wondrous places but I’d love my images to be remembered as leaving an impression of “how did I miss that?”