Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Total Photographer - Intro


I first started taking photographs when I was 19 or 20 years old, on my first trip to India. I was on holiday after my first year of undergraduate in London. I was studying to be an engineer, a 'real' job. It never crossed my mind that photography would be a career for me. It seemed too simple and frivolous to earn a living from clicking a shutter. I think I could understand why someone would pay a painter lots of money because the technicality of painting took so much effort. Now I am on the other side, a professional photographer for seven years, and I know I was wrong about the simplicity of photography. I admit, it is not rocket science and the basics should be within the grasp of any normal person.But the subtleties of light, equipment and capture medium are infinite. Entry into the realm of photography is easy, mastery of the medium is elusive. It all happens in the click of a button, but there is much to learn and prepare before that click.

It seems obvious, but photography begins with someone having a vision, seeing something that strikes a chord of resonance. Then there is an attempt to render that vision into an image, an object that can convey the photographer's resonance. Some people will be content with a simple image documenting what they saw, but others will want to convey more. Then the photographer will look for a way to better convey the inner resonance, be it a sense of awe, of happiness, of beauty. There is a search for knowledge, a way of capturing the image or rendering the image to get closer to the photographer's inner vision. Seeing an image, the photographer's understanding of the original impetus deepens. The inner vision becomes stronger and the process of learning begins again.

I have been making photographs for twenty years now. And I have been through a few iterations of being inspired to shoot, to create an image to convey a vision, and have that vision refined and then refine the process again. To be a total photographer, I think we need to cultivate the inner vision, have the right equipment for that vision, know how to render that vision into an image and make the whole exercise economically viable.

To be continued...


ShutterBug said...

this is a very article that you have written Heng... capturing the inner vision.

Will wait for the 2nd part before sharing my thoughts

darkmuze said...

Hi there!

I was led here via a link from shutterbug's site. I know u have probably heard this a hundred zillion times but I have to say this again - your pics are gorgeous. Make me both awed and envious at your talent and introspective perception. Thank u for sharing, this is a heartfelt post and keep the pics coming.

PS: Hope u dont mind but Ive happily linked u to my site.


Heng said...

Hi Darmuze,

Thanks for dropping by. There are a lot of talented photographers out there in the world. I know that I have some nice pictures, but I also know that there are people out there who keep inspiring me to try harder and keep going. We all have to.

BTW, what is your site?

darkmuze said...

That's the beauty of living in this world of walking inspirations isn't it? Everyday, we get inspired by something, someone, conversations etc, no matter how insignificant they may be. Keep up the great work!