I have increasingly becoming less interested in photographing a literal moment in time — a portrait, a moment when someone is working, an expression, a stunning landscape, and such. Oh yes, I still photograph these, but, while editing they do not interest me as much as before. I am more intrigued with the moments that a casual glance cannot see. Only a virtuoso of seeing can notice them, and only a master of a camera can express them. These images exist in shadows, fleeting expressions, and wiry juxtapositions.
I think travel (or should I say “destination”) photographers go through certain phases; I know I did:
First: Figuring out how to use a camera and just pointing the lens wherever.
Second: Clicking when you see a moment you like.
Third: Deciphering more of the camera and then clicking more deliberately.
Fourth: Feeling confident about your photographic skill and so photographing with enthusiasm but not intent.
Fifth: Starting to understand that the combination of a camera, lens, and sensor (or film) has a creative potential of its own.
Sixth: Traveling further afield with a camera, feeling confident, and then the emotion of the travel smothers creative photographic expression. (An amazing travel experience doesn’t necessarily translate to amazing images.)
Seventh: The technical level excellerates and expectations rise, images become technically lovely (perhaps like a photographer you admire) yet they are soulless.
Eighth: The photographic journey eventually begins… and expressive levels become very personal.
Ninth: You hate everything you have ever done and see all the imperfections.
Ten: Photography becomes more than a record or documentation of a journey; it becomes an expression of self, place, and beyond. And it is more challenging than ever before.
© nevada wier 2009 Assam, Manjuli Island. Rass Dance.