Friday, February 15, 2013

Vision Is the Beginning and End of Photography

“Vision is the beginning and end of photography. It’s the thing that moves you to pick up the camera, and it determines what you look at and what you see when you do. It determines how you shoot and why. Without vision, the photographer perishes.”

That last sentence is a powerfully strong statement—without vision, the photographer perishes.

“Vision is everything, and the photographic journey is about discovering your vision, allowing it to evolve, change, and find expression through your camera and the print. It is not something you find and come to terms with once and for all, it is something that changes and grows with you. The things that impassion you, that anger you, that stir you—they are part of your unique vision. It is about what you—unique among billions—find beautiful, ugly, right, wrong, or harmonious in the world. And as you experience life, your vision changes. The stories you want to tell, the things that resonate with you—they change and so does your vision. Finding and expressing your vision is a journey, not a destination.”

“When vision is spoken of in photographic terms, it is not spoken of merely as the things you see but how you see them. Photography is a deeply subjective craft, and the camera, wielded well, tells the stories you want it to tell. It will tell the truths you want it to, and certainly the lies. You are central to your photography and the camera is merely the tool of interpretation—not the other way around. The most compelling photographs you take begin with the things about which you are most interested, most passionate, and most curious. When those photographs are taken in a way that communicates your unique perspective, they translate into images that say something. They are more than a record of “I was here and saw this.” Instead, they become “I feel this way about this. I was in this place and saw it like this.” They are not acts of representation as much as they are acts of interpretation.”--David duChemin, Within the Frame, The Journey of Photographic Vision, pp 2-4.

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