More than just a Click

Closeups of patterns in petrified wood
In a recent encounter with a young photo hobbyist, I found myself engaged in a heated discussion about the nature of photography. The individual claimed that photography was easy, as all one needed to do was pick up a camera and press a button. While this person’s perspective seemed misguided and fueled by anger, it did raise an important issue. With the rise of smartphones and advanced camera technology, there is a prevailing misconception that capturing an image is as simple as a button press. However, the truth is far more complex. Photography is an art form that goes beyond the mechanical act of pushing a button; it requires creative vision and a deep understanding of the craft.
To understand the essence of photography, we must recognize that the camera is merely a tool, comparable to a hammer in the hands of a carpenter. It is the person holding the camera who brings life and meaning to the captured image. While the advancement of technology has made cameras more accessible and user-friendly, it is the photographer’s skill, knowledge, and artistic sensibilities that shape the final outcome.
Beyond technical expertise, photography is fundamentally a form of artistic expression. A photographer’s creative vision sets them apart from mere button pushers. It is the ability to see the world through a unique lens, capturing moments, emotions, and stories that resonate with the viewer. This creative vision is cultivated through years of practice, experimentation, and introspection. It involves the development of an individual style, the honing of one’s observation skills, and the willingness to explore unconventional perspectives.
Today’s image choice is an example. As a kid and even today I have always been fascinated by rocks and minerals and crystals and fossils …….  So I couldn’t pass up pulling off the road in Utah to go into a side of the road rock store. I found myself by a bin of small pieces of petrified wood and it sent me on a mental journey. I thought that even the most mundane objects possess a hidden palette of colors waiting to be unveiled. In my mind I started to compose using color theory, contrast, and saturation to extract and enhance the subtle hues within the petrified wood, which might just create a mesmerizing visual symphony that evokes emotions and awakens the senses. The petrified wood, once considered mundane, suddenly becomes a metaphor for resilience, endurance, and the passage of time. I thought just maybe it might prompt viewers to contemplate the intricacies of life and the hidden stories that lie within the simplest of objects.
Ultimately, the aim of every creative photographer is to inspire the viewer to appreciate the beauty and wonder that surrounds them, even in the most ordinary of things. By presenting the petrified wood as a captivating photographic abstraction, I encourage a shift in perspective, urging individuals to seek beauty in their everyday lives and embrace the creative potential that lies within them.
Think about this the next time someone says photography is nothing but a click……
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