Painting With Light


“Canal in Venice” © R.L. Herron

For the title of this online rant, I chose Painting With Light.

It’s the basic definition of the word photography and that’s what this blog is about. At least, what it’s intended to be about … with an occasional foray into my writing.

Photography, as a craft, has existed for more than 150 years. Like good writing, it can capture moments that reflect the very essence of our nature. Good or bad, immodest or demure, intemperate or heroic, a photograph can catalog human existence, evoke an emotion, or become an artistic mirror into the soul.

Once the sole province of chemical manipulation, this artistic expression, like so many other things, has moved into the digital realm. While there are advantages to each medium, I guess I still feel the strongest ties to film, where I learned the craft.

Sure, I will own and use digital equipment, but I still collect and use old film cameras. Can’t seem to find a reason not to!

I think one of the unfortunate aspects of the digital age is how it has allowed nearly everyone (myself included) to assume their photographs are worthy of attention.

Worse, because it has become so easy to do, it has made convincing people not to post scores of mundane images an exercise in futility. The same is true of the written word. Having my own blog is a case in point.

Digital cameras have the unique advantage of giving us the opportunity to see our flawed images immediately and correct (or delete) them. But making such an edit rests squarely on the less-than-certain assumption that the average snapshooter would even recognize a flawed image.

Theoretically, all our snapshots should be better … at least in the sense that “old Aunt Bessie” is not hopelessly underexposed and forever unrecognizable, in the only pictures you ever managed to make of her.

However, my creative sense tells me that, like being a writer, being a true photographer is about more than snapshots.

Let’s face it, most of us really are just snapshooters. That statement is as true for writing as it is for photography. The simple snapshots of an era, given enough time, can become a window into a society or culture, it’s true.

But truly Painting With Light is about purposely capturing (or trying to) those images that record our times, preserve fleeting moments of beauty, or … if we’re really lucky, stir our souls.

When I post my musings, I will often include my own light paintings (such as my “Canal in Venice” shot above) and hope you enjoy them. Comments and critiques are welcome but, please, be gentle. A dialogue is what I really hope to start.

To me, the dialogues that are started about images are what being a photographer is all about … just as comments on writing are the food of the author.

I’m sure Aunt Bessie would approve.

 

 


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