I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned the following perspective/opinion about photography on my blog somewhere, and my brain certainly thinks it on a regular basis (like nearly every time I look around). It is my opinion as an amateur photographer that photography is one of the easier arts to pick up - so easy in fact, that it often feels like cheating to me. You see, in photography the subject matter is already there in all its beauty. Your eyes see and recognize it. This beauty is God's creation. He is the Master Artist who laid everything in place, gave them color, texture, smell, taste, etc. You've heard yourself say, "What a gorgeous sunset!" or "What beautiful color!" All a photographer is doing is trying to capture those moments in an interesting angle with their equipment. Naturally, there are varying levels of skill that result in what even I would qualify as being a "good" or "bad" photo. A big part of that is knowing how to use the equipment, which is simply a matter of learning. In general, the art of photography is not nearly an obvious indicator of creativity as painting, drawing, music, and other fine arts. These are more challenging and require an obvious natural gift to do well... or lots of practice, trial and error as in my case. Granted, the same goes for photography. The difference being that someone with a decent camera can capture a pretty cool image just by clicking the button a bunch of times... eventually one of them will look good, even if the person has their eyes closed. Nature is inherently beautiful. I think I would be severely challenged if I had to photography other subjects, like people or architecture. Maybe the ones who can make those things look interesting or new are the ones with true talent. My former classmate, Sarah, is very good at this, as well as this guy.
I hope this doesn't offend any talented photographers out there. I certainly wouldn't compare my work with yours if you are truly talented and are able to make good business of your skills. There is certainly such thing as a brilliant photographer. I'm not one of those. I just get lucky when I have a quality camera in hand and am in the right place at the right time. I think it is more accurate to say one "has an eye for it", as is commonly said. This means that, yes, the beautiful material is all around us. We can all see it with our eyes. Most of us, nevertheless, don't appreciate it or realize the angles and composition. So "the eye" is more what I see as the natural talent side of photography. The rest of the technical stuff like the different settings on the camera and what they do... that can all be learned quite easily.
I'm no expert, but I took some photos today that I think may very well be some of the best I've ever taken. I entirely credit the camera and the perfect outdoor conditions. I guess you could say I at least had the eye to notice the beauty and do something about it. Every year outside my place of work you can find about the prettiest fall leaves collection available. The red is so bright that the leaves emanate a glow that reddens objects around them. Literally, as I approach the office, I feel odd, as if I'm trespassing in some wizard's enchanted aura tunnel. Today I grabbed the company camera, since I didn't have mine with me at work and took a bunch of quick pictures. Keep in mind that I didn't do anything to digitally enhance hardly any of these photos. I brightened about 3 or 4 from the whole set that were a little too dark, but that's it. No increased saturation, nothing. That's how bright those leaves are (at least)! Like this one. I wish I could show you all the full size images... they are so amazingly crystal clear and detailed. My heart actually raced a little when they popped on (out of) the screen for the first time. They are almost mystical... not bragging of my own skills at all, just a testament to the beauty of God's creation. I get so used to my 6 year old mediocre camera... I'm sure I would be amazed at the images a new digital SLR could get me. Make it the best Olympus money can buy :)
compared to last time.