High Rise Originally uploaded by richard.haber
This particular view is one that I have seen several times a day for years and have always enjoyed the color contrasts and patterns; but until a couple of days ago, it never appeared to me as a photograph. Someone said that there are millions of good photographs out there; a photographer’s job is to recognize them and capture the most interesting of them. So leaving out the ‘good’ and ‘most interesting’ parts, how do we recognize which scenes to try to capture? Since I have no clear idea at the moment, I’ll take a stab at it and hopefully someone out there can help shed light on the process.
I think that an important factor is the influence of the photographers whose work we admire and respect. There is a certain amount of emulation at play here: someone took a picture of a shadow and I’ll try one too. This is not necessarily bad as long as what we take away is the idea of interpreting scenes via their shadows; taking pictures of shadows of objects and settings that are meaningful to us, rather than go find that same shadow and copy it.
What is more important perhaps is the inspiration to start looking for the intrinsic qualities of things. These glass blocks are both concrete and abstract, have both symmetry and variation, warm colors and cool, architectural and natural elements, softness and contrast. I think that by studying the way others interpret what they see, one can start forcing oneself (at first) to find these elements and that this can become a natural part of the way we view our world. Maybe that is the point at which we really become photographers.