Is there a photograph here?

imageVines, Sherman, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Do you ever see something that catches your eye that you want to photograph, but even as you look at it, you ask yourself “Is there a photograph here”? Of course what we want to know is if it might be a good photograph, one worth making. How can we tell?

Do you look critically at photographs? Have you spent real time paging through publications like Lenswork, or Aperture, publications edited by people who have well honed tastes. Do you go to exhibits and really look at the images? I mean really look. Do you study historical photographs? Do you know the history of photography? Have you attempted to learn who the masters were/are, and why they are considered masters? Do you go to art galleries and museums to put photography into context in the greater Art World?

I believe that if you can answer yes to more than half of the questions posed above the chances are pretty fair that when you are tempted to make a photograph it will be worth the effort. If you do those things, not just once, but if you really practice, not just the use of your camera but the craft, you will be predisposed to making good images. The next step is about proccessing and presenting your work in a way that conveys your vision successfully to others. Trust your vision in the knowledge that not everyone who looks at your work will like or understand it, that’s art. Live with your images and if after a time you still like it, trust yourself.

Pentax K5IIs with kit zoom, processed with Nik Snapseed and Stackables on my iPad Air.


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