As this is my first post on my new website's blog I think it might be a good time to talk about some of my thoughts on the making of photographs. I really don't like writing very much so I probably won't be the most prolific blogger ... even though I've been told that I'm a good writer ... it's just too much work since I tend to be obsessed with ensuring that nothing I write is misunderstood and accurately expresses what I want to express. I prefer to photograph even though the same obsession with accurate expression and technical precision plagues me. This is what I refer to as the "Craft" of photography which is not the same as the "Art" of photography. Both are important but they are different for the creation of photographs that are beautiful as well as moving.
The photograph of the young woman above is a good example of my attention to technical craft. It has beautiful sharp detail and subtle shades of colour and tonality which I think marks the difference between a good quality photograph and a snapshot.
This is not to say that less technically precise photographs are of no value ... there are many examples of technically imperfect photos among the best photos of all time simply because other elements of the image are so powerful or creative as to render the technical deficiencies irrelevant.
However, as a general rule I think that a photograph has a much better chance of being beautiful and moving if it a strong photo technically and it is generally much easier to attain technical excellence than it is to attain creative brilliance. So I always start by striving for technical excellence and occasionally, very occasionally, achieve something that might be considered artistic.
There are times though when it is appropriate to loosen up, de-emphasize technical precision and get a little wild if you will. The shot below which was taken during a Boudoir shoot is far from being technically perfect but that was deliberate and in a sense that is the point ... it is supposed to be a little raw and hazy to provide a dreamlike quality. However, when I captured the photo i was still attentive to the technical aspects in order to obtain an image file with as much good visual information as I could get in order to provide as many options for creating the final image as possible.
A lot of photographers these days don't take the time to learn the technical aspects of photography as thoroughly as they might and thus their work is not what it could be even though it might still be very good. The technical aspects are not exciting and can be painful to learn at times but knowing and applying them can make even mediocre images look amazing. If you look at the landscape photographs that Ansel Adams made in Yosemite park you will see what a Master Craftsman can do with subject matter that might make for mediocre photographs by less skilled image makers.