August 17, 2018
I no longer carry my 35mm SLR camera weighed down by its telephoto lens. Several years ago I traded that immense equipment for a tiny hand-held Sony digital with an optical zoom. As of today I have no regrets. Light weight and picture-taking perfect, this little Sony and its lead white body serves the way I view the world.
Will I ever become an iPhone camera user? Only time will tell as I just ordered a set of tiny lenses for my Samsung. Not that I use my mobile a lot to make calls or text. Though, I’m curious about its picture making capabilities. What I’ve seen these little cell phone cameras achieve is astounding. And what about the apps? Well, who can argue with their raison-d’etre?
Though, you don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never taken the time to process film in a darkroom and beheld an image take form on paper. Alongside one another, both the digital and the analogue processes develop images, yet each in their own unique way with comparable results. Still there’s something to be said about the physicality involved working in the darkroom under a red light bulb, swishing the paper in a pan of solutions meant for you to watch an image come to life.
These days I sit before a computer screen, my fingers clicking away on the buttons of my keyboard while I photo edit using Adobe. No toxic fumes or odors to inhale. No photographic paper to trash or waste. No actual darkroom needed to do my work.
Not to say the computerized version doesn’t have its repercussions. Gone are the days when you didn’t have to pay a licensing fee or subscribe to a program to use the service- but if you’re in business to make money…need I say more?
The fact that I can compose, arrange and configure digital images to assemble photomontages fuels the creator/artist/photographer in me. There’s so much out there to photograph and not everyone wants to or can tell a story through a photograph. It’s great to know that if you need a photograph of a toilet bowl or a roach crawling up a brick wall it exists.
So what do people do with their visual stashes? Pic makers, iPhone camera users and professionals in the industry sell and/or share their images online with the public for personal or commercial use, for free or for profit.
There’s an over-abundance of photographic imagery online for the asking. All kinds of bits and bobs from tea cups to hairpins to cityscapes to be downloaded on a single click. I don’t need to make or store tens of thousands of images to create works of art. Though you do need a good eye for composition.
Some pictures are free and categorized as public domain items. Others to be used when you purchase the commercial rights. Yet isn’t it wonderful that such an influx of images exist. We can either download or hit delete to begin again.
Still within every impression created what I consider foremost is its soul and its transmission. I consider what the composition communicates and how that information translates and will comes across. I consider what the viewer may receive and might take away; therefore they take part in the act of viewing.