I’ve realized over many years of photographing that there can be a wide range of reaction to any given subject. One person’s meat can be another person’s poison, to paraphrase an old saying. It’s a lesson all who chose to put their work on view for public consideration learn.
Additionally, technology these days adds a new dimension. It’s amazing what can be done. Colors boosted, objectionable objects can be disappeared, faces retouched and images completely transformed. You want a photo to look like a painting? Which artist? You want a black and white from a color file, no problem. Push this button. You want that black and white to look like a sepia toned darkroom original? Have I got a deal for you.
We live in very documented times. Phones make incredible photos. Digital cameras require little more than an “on” switch and an “auto” setting. It’s amazing! Everyone’s a photographer. The days of extensive knowledge about films and light are no longer required for high quality photos.
But there remains the subjective. By that I mean the fundamental reaction to a subject. Take this week’s photo for example. One might get the impression that this young lady is blissfully transported by thoughts to some far off place. Nothing could be further from the truth. Samantha Clarkson agreed to make time for this photo as she was running some last minute errands before leaving town for a big time job in Minneapolis. No special button on my camera could adjust her sense of urgency. We did not have much time.
But maybe that’s more of a gift than a challenge. To her credit, Samantha’s ability to be “in the moment” is remarkable. You could never know that she was minutes away from checking off the last item on her “to-do” list before leaving town. Some things can not be altered with technology. And that's a good thing.