Why Photography?

What is it about photography which draws me into its real with such gusto and passion.
I sometimes ponder this question because I feel like I need to find my own answer.  Yet a satisfactory answer always seams out of reach to me.  I feel as if im searching for something along my photographic  journey. Most people will not understand and some might think me odd.  However I think it very normal. In fact I think most people search for answers in life. Some find it in religion or philosophy, some in helping others, some people find it in careers and work, others search yet never find and a few get lost along the way in alcohol and drugs. Yet many people, perhaps most people,  search for something. For some reason my search has taken me down a path of photographing natures landscapes and beautify. We are all different.
Photographing a landscape brings a sense of balance into my life. It for fills many needs in me;  a need to build and create something,  a need to be closely in touch with those things in life which are real and natural;  I think it is a counter balance to what can be a  very artificial and unnatural world in which we live and work. Photography fills a need in me to escape and have time-out… time for me. It for fills a yearning to wander, explore and discover. It for fills a need in me to say “Hey, our world is not all bad”  in fact it is a very beautiful and good world in which to live in. It for fills a need to leave a mark on the world after I am gone, that somehow my beautiful photographs are evidence that I was here and I had something to say and to share with others. My life is not just about work and play, there was something more.
Sometimes I look at people I know,  who to me appear to be very shallow and have no depth in their life. They appear to be happily living lives I see as very superficial. One side of me is envious. However I could never live a life so wafer thin. I need depth, it is my keel and my compass.

What is it about photography which draws us into its realm with such passion.

I ponder this question often. I don’t know about you,  but I feel like I need to find my own answers. You might like to share your own thoughts below.

So far,  a satisfactory answer always seems out of reach to me.  I feel as if I am searching for something unknown along my photographic journey; that the journey has some kind of purpose.

Many people will not understand and some might think me odd. However, I think it is very normal.

 

Mamiya 7II / Velvia film / Canada, British Columbia.

I feel that most people search for answers in life. Some find it in religion or philosophy, some in the act of helping others. Many people find it through their careers and work, or at least try to do so. Others search yet never find and a few get lost along the way in difficult places like in alcohol and drugs.

Yet many people, perhaps most people, search for something. For some reason,  my search has taken me down a path of photographing landscapes, sharing what I learn and writing about the journey. We are all different.

For me, I know that photographing a landscape brings a sense of balance into my life. It for fills many needs in me, a need to build and create something.  A need to be closely in touch with those things in life which are real and natural; I think it is a counter balance to what can be a  very artificial and unnatural world in which we live and work. Photography for fills a need in me to escape and have time-out; time for me. It enables my yearning to wander, explore and discover.

Photography is perhaps a reaction to the need in me to say “Hey, our world is not all bad” that in fact, it is a very beautiful and good world in which to live in. Photography is also my way to leave a mark on the world after I am gone, that somehow my beautiful photographs and my writings are evidence that I was here and I had something to say and to share with others. My life was not just about work and play, there was something more.

Sometimes I look at people I know,  those who appear to me to be very shallow and have no depth in their life. I find them very curious and interesting. They appear to be happily living lives I see as very superficial and simple.  One side of me is envious. However, I could never live, a life, so wafer thin. I need depth, creativity is my keel and my compass.

What drives your passion for photography?  I would love to know…

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Here are some other posts I have written which may be of interest to you here:

  • What makes a photograph great?: here
  • Interview with photographer Huntington Witherill: Some very good insights on what it is to be a photographer: here
  • The importance of light in photography: here

 

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8 Responses to Why Photography?

  1. Juliet says:

    My photographs are my visual voice and my way to get the vision that is in my head out into the world so that I can both, see it in front of me for me to better understand myself, and for me to share that vision with others. Is it arrogant to believe that my vision is important? I suppose it is. But I believe that each individual is unique and has something to share with the rest of us, and my photography is my way to do that. But mostly, it is my need to act on what I see and to create from it. I hope that makes sense.

  2. Ricardo says:

    ***Continued***

    life to llisten to our calling and fulfill our heart’s desires.

    Beautiful engaging piece of writing Steve

  3. Ricardo says:

    I share very similar thoughts and feelings as you’ve here Steve. I really believe that we’re all here for a reason and it’s obligation in l

  4. Mike Wiesman says:

    Photography is a process, a “game” if you will, that has a set of basics that have to be understood to create within it’s media. There are practices that have been used since the beginning as well as new editing techniques being created daily. The nice thing is that photography allows for both and everything in-between. With all the modern technology and insta-edit apps it’s easy to forget that underlying force that makes us vision mongers document life on still image of exposed silver or exposed pixels on click at a time.

    I personally have a few different motives behind the different kinds of photography I produce. If it’s a portrait I approach it different than an editorial shoot. If Im covering an event or a wedding I try to capture is close and wide. No matter what the subject is though, I am still just one creator. I am compelled to produce images. I am a scribe and my medium is pictures. Pictures help us remember what was at one point the future, and at the moment of capture it turns into a memory.

    What I’m trying to figure out is of all the 100,000’s or 1,000,000’s of pictures that I have taken, how can I actually mentally recall taking each picture in my film and digital archives. Kinda give a who new meaning to my life knowing that if I take pictures of what’s going on I will remember, but if I don’t the chances of forgetting it are much higher. Must be a different type of photographic memory. There’s something about photography that I haven’t been able to explain, but it draws me back minute after minute.

  5. Pingback: The First 10,000 » What’s My Motivation?

  6. Ryan Parker says:

    Great thoughts, Steve!

    I think what photography, or any genuinely creative endeavor, offers us is a true challenge; something that cannot be mastered, but drives us.

    For me, what I love about making pictures is that they are indeed mine. Though small, they represent some of my contributions to the world. Even images of scenes that have been made before…my version is different and unique. It doesn’t matter if it’s “good” or “better”. It only matters that I made it with authentic purpose. It was my time spent creating something that only I was able to create at that very moment.

    The freedom in photography is special, and that’s what I think makes it such a passionate endeavor.

  7. John says:

    I am often drawn to the work of Edward Curtis in his chronicling of the Native Americans in the work called In a sacred manner they lived. The haunting stares of the old Chiefs move me though years removed. In the same manner, sacred to me in a way, are the ones I am able to photograph, I look back on subjects from even the 80’s that I took, and others as well, are moved that someone was there to see the grandpa long gone. The same with the sunrise today. It was grand. All slept. I shall share it when you awake. Thanks to photographers whose passion leads us to capture a sleeping world.

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