Happy New Year! I sincerely hope everyone reading this is looking forward to a wonderful 2015 ahead.
Originally, I had a different image lined up for this post, but that one will have to wait because I decided to go with this one instead. This one felt more in the spirit of the new year to me, not because the monument in this photograph has anything to do with 2015 specifically or new years generally, but rather just because of how it feels to me when I look at it – bright, clean, soaring. Full of promise, kind of like the new year.
As I continue in photography, this kind of thinking has come to figure more prominently in my approach. The American photographer Minor White said, “one should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.” When I started in photography, I thought I was photographing simply the subjects that captured my interest themselves, but the more I photograph, the more I realize I’m photographing to capture my feeling about the subject. There’s a difference. If you want to see simply a picture of the DTC Identity Monument, just Google it online. If you want to see the DTC Identity Monument the way I see it – in the way of “what else it is” to me – then I hope you’ll see that difference in my photograph of it.
“What else it is” can be a tricky concept, but that doesn’t make it any less real or relevant. In fact, I would suggest that the ability of a photograph to convey to a viewer the “what else it is” about a subject is one quality that sets apart true fine art photography from ordinary snapshots – or indeed any art from that which simply is ordinary and mundane.