Near the beginning of my photographic journey I was given two books – both of them by Freeman Patterson. The first I have recommended several times here, Photography and the Art of Seeing, the second is Photography For the Joy of It. Re-reading them now I suspect they are at the very centre of who I’ve become as a photographer.
I want to leave you with a quote from Patterson, and the recommendation that you add Photography For the Joy of It to your reading list. Here’s the Amazon link. And here’s the quote:
In making photographs, two things are important above all others – the subject matter and you. Photographs are what happen when you and the subject meet, and you use a camera to describe the meeting. A photograph is a visual description of the relationship between the subject and the photographer; and a good photograph is one which clearly shows the character of the subject while revealing the photographer’s response to it.
If you think of a photograph in this way, you’ll find your personal direction as a photographer emerging and becoming clearer. Sometimes it takes a while to understand what’s happening, and to decide upon what you expect from the relationship. Good relationships require a lot of give and take, and a lot of hard work. But the process of coming to know yourself through interaction with someone or something else is very satisfying. In the end, you get the picture – of both of you.
If things have gone the way we’ve planned, I am still in Ladakh. We overnighted in Leh last night but will be heading out to a more remote village today, overnighting there after photographing in the village for the evening, then back to Leh tomorrow. We fly to Delhi on Saturday ending the Lumen Dei tour. I fly to Kathmandu on Sunday, the 28th, and will be – should be – back online shortly thereafter with an actual update. Thanks for hanging in there with me through this last few weeks.