On the Subject of Photography.

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Yesterday, Levi and I walked around downtown taking pictures – him with my Rebel XS, me with my Vivitar. Levi got some really nice pictures. He tends to be a lot more creative than I – at one point he walked right up to a fisheye mirror and took a picture of himself. At first I thought to myself, “what an awkward picture”. I tossed the idea of the picture around in my head, and went and took the same picture of myself with the XS. I love it. I am so happy I decided to snap this picture – it is just cool looking. Realistically, I could have done a better job with the composition – aka, not shooting in ISO 400 in broad daylight.

There was no sunshine today. I am so glad we went out yesterday to take pictures. It was much more enjoyable taking pictures in the sunlight. I am a bit disappointed that on what may be the only sunny day for the next month I was stuck exposing film. Film just isn’t very fun for me. Maybe it is because I am stuck taking pictures to demonstrate depth of field. Or maybe it is because I have to take pictures based on an emotion.

The idea of picking an event that caused a strong emotion, and then taking pictures to demonstrate this emotion bothers me. I’ve always felt that capturing a moment in time was what made photography an artform. If I wanted to illustrate emotion, I would have taken a drawing class. Photography is not about creating emotion, it is about capturing it. Asking someone to create a specific emotion through photographs is absurd. Good photography automatically creates emotion, but it is not my emotions you should be feeling – it should be your own. Furthermore, why should photography be about my life? Photography captures a scene, a moment in time – it isn’t my moment I am trying to capture, it is our moment. We can all share the same moment, that is what makes photography special to me. Photography isn’t personal, so much as it is universal. When I take a picture of a grimy, grungy, grotesque alley – I want you see see a grimy, grungy, grotesque alley; You can then take that image and do with it what you will. At no point will I force you to feel how I was feeling when I took that picture – that isn’t my job as a photographer. My job is to document, to demonstrate, to display. In doing this, if you feel emotions from my work then I have done my job well – it just doesn’t matter what emotions you are feeling.

Maybe I am being a big baby?

P.S. – I put in a footer widget area. I like it. I am afraid to touch it though. I kind of forced it to happen. I am still unsure if I did it correctly. It might even look terrible in some browsers – it looks great in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox though.

Stephen Battey

Stephen Battey

Stephen is a 25 year old amateur photographer, blogger, and husband from Tacoma, Washington. He shares a cute ass house with his husband, cat, and two dogs. He generally hates all weather patterns.

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