Zen and the Art of Photography

Time to wax philosophical about photos. You can blame my summer read of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (and probably my whole 5 years at university) for this.

I often struggle to take a good photo. 

Maybe I've taken a great one. Maybe not. Who knows. But what I do know, is that I've taken a ton of bad ones. The reason I struggle: I often wonder 'how can I produce a good photo?' and more important, what makes a good photo 'good'? In my mind, it should make me feel something. When I look inside, at what I like in a photo, I know that I need something almost tangible. When I see great bokeh (the out-of-focus part of a photo that encircles a crisp portrait shot), I feel pulled in by the it tightly wraps around the image. Can I anticipate what creates that pull? Or do I only know it when I see it? Importantly, how understandable is my pull to the viewer? 

What I need, and want, is to transcend the constraints of the traditional relationship that defines a photograph and its viewer. As with any mildly philosophical enquiry, more questions are raised than answered.

 Simply, I want something that engages the viewer. Something more than an image. 

Often novelty can do this. In some areas where I've travelled, the sheer amazement from seeing a picture or portrait on a tiny screen is just awesome. This can be the only time a person has seen his or her face on a digital screen.

Every time I bring my camera out, my goal is to show how simply awesome things and people are, in the best way I can.  Sometimes I succeed in doing this. Other times I don't. 

"Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph" Matt Hardy

The pursuit of beautiful moments- the best thing ever, no matter the challenge

The pursuit of beautiful moments- the best thing ever, no matter the challenge

Show and tell time in Uganda.

Show and tell time in Uganda.

Fellow photographer Ryan Ihle shows a portrait to a child sponsored by GAAF. Uganda

Fellow photographer Ryan Ihle shows a portrait to a child sponsored by GAAF. Uganda