Philosophy

My Photographic Philosophy…

A website subtitle of “Photography as art, therapy, technology – a closer engagement with the world…” probably needs a bit of explanation.

These days, I need to take photos to stay happy.  There is nothing finer than packing a camera, having a coffee, then going for an adventure in the world, exploring and taking photos.  Be it lonely nature or urban – I discover new things, people and situations that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.

I’m starting to think that photography is not only an art but sort of ‘therapy’ that it forces you to look at the world with a photographer’s eye and appreciate it.  You look closer, you appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world.  You get pulled out of your thoughts and out of your busy mental world and into the here and now of what is around you.

Possibly Susan Sontag wrote about these sorts of things in her book On Photography – its been a while since I read this book in my uni days.  It been my experience that walking around without purpose is sometimes depressing – whereas walking around nature or urban areas with a camera in one’s hand, looking for photo opportunities – can be exhilarating.

The book The Celestine Prophecy talked about getting energy from your surroundings, rather than getting energy from various psychological manipulations of others (usually unconscious).  Even if you don’t believe in that sort of thing, I think there is something energising in being in beautiful surrounding.  Being in interesting (or even challenging or ‘ugly’) surroundings can also be energising.  Photography engages this part of us that actively looks at the world.  For example you can sit in a waiting room being bored, or you can view the architecture of the room, people’s expressions, the way the light catches the painting on the wall…

Today I found a website that houses quotes from famous photographers.  Whilst reading some of these quotes it struck me how utterly philosophical many of them are.  I’m going to have to read more of them to see if any share my particular views above – I’m sure there is something in that database of quotes that relates… and much more of course too..

2013 update: Similar concepts to this page might be found here on the Australian ABC website article.

More thoughts to follow…

Note on gear:  I have a Nikon D300 and Nikon D90 as my main cameras.  I started with a Nikon D50.  I also have a Nikon F80 film camera.  Several months ago I purchased a Fuji x100 and now use that camera most of the time.

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