I read many years back, that it takes years to become a good photographer. I think that I am at the stage where I can call myself a good photographer today. Pardon me for blowing my own horn, but I think that I may be permitted to do so, just the once.
Am I a great photographer? I don’t think so, in all honesty. One of my endeavors is, not only to be a successful photographer, but a great one. The funny thing about photography is that no matter how good I may become, I will always want to be better. That’s life. And, I am talking about being a great photographer, and not a great Photoshop Expert.
I make this distinction, because I believe, like many others, that you need to try and get it right in camera. This further means that you need to have the ability to see. Photography is such a vast field that you end up specializing in one, a few, genre/s. These are driven first, by passion, and then by commercial interest. As I have started to make the move towards commercial photography, I look at areas that are aligned to my passions.
When you start photographing, it can be a somewhat aimless activity. So, when I read up about doing photography projects, I thought that this was a good idea. However, later on, I did a course on portfolio management with a brilliant American photographer called William Neill, he introduced me to the concept of an Artist’s Statement.
When I did my “Abandoned Beauty” series of photographs, it linked back to two parts of my life that are past, and present.
One is my love for the abstract patterns of nature. The second is my past, and love for, corrosion engineering.
Abandoned Beauty is all about the colors of rust on abandoned cars. When I did the shoots, I used normal and macro lens. I shot at various times of day, in different seasons, and using natural light supplemented by flash, torch and candle light.
The Artist’s Statement gave meaning to the project, and allowed me to see the two cars in a manner that would not have been possible had it not been for the Artist’s Statement.
I can only encourage people to develop their own Artists’ Statements prior to starting out a photography project. They really help the process, and add meaning to the project.
They also definitely help in making you see better.