A blog friend just joined a photography club and wrote this to me:
"I’m finding it to be just a bunch of old men droning on about f stops and hyper focal stuff."
I smile because I relate. Oh, I've had my share of classes and manuals and great instructors. I'm grateful for that background. I know that many (most) professional photographers and a lot of amateurs are intrigued by the science of photography, the craft of it. I can talk f stops, too, but several years ago, I realized that what I really want to do with my photography is tell stories. I like to write stories, and I like my photos to tell stories.
A photo of mine doesn't necessarily have to be excellent or a piece of creative genius for me to love it. Sometimes it's just a feeling I have when I see a scene and point the lens. I like to shoot landscapes, but if I can capture people candidly, I've found those pictures often speak to me. However, I'm not comfortable with shooting street photography that may invade the privacy of others. I like capturing people whose identity is masked in my photos. I break this rule, of course, with family. I love natural light. I like feeling the camera in my hand. I like scenes that are spontaneous rather than planned. I don't organize scenes or people for optimum outcome.
I like a little real life scruffiness in the photo. The story behind the photo I'm sharing is this:
Bob and I were in the van driving for groceries. Suddenly, the air was black with birds. They floated and wheeled in the sky, forming patterns that changed rapidly as they flew. I reached for my iPhone and snapped as we were moving. It was an amazing sight, and I didn't capture it well with that photo. But, the sky and the clouds and the blobby sun shining on those birds make me feel excited, so I'm sharing that photo today. And that's my story...