In my opinion there are two functions when taking a photo:
- To capture a moment in time (preservation)
- To produce technically sound, artistic images (creation)
Most of the time I walk the line between these two purposes. There are times when I have the opportunity to arrange subjects, or position my camera in such a way as to capture light in an attractive or unique way. Yet my favorite images are those that have combinations of technical prowess and candid emotion. The only way to even begin to master this exercise is to practice; that is, take lots and lots of photos!
Perhaps the best photography advice I've ever received is, "always have a camera with you, you never know when you're going to need it." Certainly this is an easier task in 2014 with iPhones in our pockets, but in 2007 the iPhone was a novel, albeit revolutionary, concept and digital cameras were not yet ubiquitous.
As I continue to comb through old photos on long ago forgotten hard drives I have seen countless examples of images that are the direct results of following this advice and carrying my SLR with me everywhere! Tonight's flashback is quite simple, and yet so sincere. It comes from July of 2007, just weeks after the aforementioned first iPhone was released (I was still sporting a blue Palm Treo 755p).
One of my oldest and best friends, Todd, had invited me out to meet his new girlfriend, Leyna. Todd and Leyna are now married with two beautiful children (I'm sure we'll see their wedding in subsequent blog posts) but I couldn't have known that at the time when I captured a simple candid moment of their blossoming love. It's not the greatest photo I've ever taken. It might not even be a "good" photo from a technical perspective. But it captured a significant moment that establishes its importance as time goes on. So, captured a moment in time? Check. Technically sound, artistic image? Still a work in progress. But most importantly is it a successful photo? I'd say so.