I am not a professional photographer. I’m an amateur. I like to think that my photography isn’t lacking skill, however, in the usual way we use the word amateur. My photography is as Atkinson used the term in Recollections of the Tartar Steppes and their Inhabitants, amateur in the sense of being a “enthusiastic pursuer of an objective”. It’s an art, a passion, a window on my world.
My obsession with images started as a kid with an antique Ansco box camera. I tried pinhole photography discovering that I was more intrigued with the whole process of capturing images than I was with the final images themselves. With film the outcome is always a surprise, and I learned quickly not to be disappointed with what I got, but to say, “Now, that’s interesting!”
A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. Diane Arbus
Once I had some money, I bought a nice Pentax and a couple lenses. It expanded me, gave me some options in my shooting. Then some years later, that Pentax was accidentally lost and I began working with a $3 garage sale Yashika — totally manual. My father-in-law gave me that camera and shortly after I enrolled in a darkroom class at a nearby art institute. The combination of the basic camera and the vague assignments of the photo class gave me permission to experiment, break bounds and go wild with ideas. It revolutionized my art.
When we left for Russia, my friend, Tom, gave me a little digital camera. It only had room on it for a few pictures and those just a few KB in size, but it introduced me to a concept that my photos were now more than just prints in an album. They had unlimited possibilities. It wasn’t until a few years later that I got my first serious Nikon digital. I’ve been going crazy ever since.
No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want. Ken Rockwell
I learned two things in those next years. First, I don’t “take pictures”. I “make pictures”. Some cultures of the world believe that the camera has the power to actually remove something from a person in order to make an image. Certainly the idea of “taking” is involved in their thinking. Art is art and art is painted, sculpted, sketched, written, composed and photographic images are “made”, not taken.
Almost all of the images on The Romantic Way are mine. I’ve borrowed a few for specific purposes to illustrate an idea or emotion for which I have no image, but most you see are mine, and most are digital using either of the two Nikons I own.
Few things incite me to violence more than an admirer of my photographs who casually says, “Wow, your pictures are really nice. You must have a really good camera.” Death. Dismemberment.
I’m an amateur. It’s an art I love, and it helps me see my world from another perspective. It also helps me express how I see my world in countless ways.
I’m an amateur. Enjoy the pix!
Yours along TheRomanticWay!