Saturday, September 21, 2013

More than a lamp

click photo to enlarge
When I brought this image up on my computer it set me thinking. If I was a photographer who specialised in one or only a few fields - say motor racing, wildlife, street, portraiture or some such - would I notice the subject of today's photograph? Moreover, if I did notice it would I value it sufficiently highly to take a photograph of it?

I suspect that the answer to both of these questions is probably not. Perhaps the deciding factor would be whether the interest in photography as an art was more or less than the interest in the field that the photographer concentrated on. The fact is, a great deal of photography is undertaken in support of a pre-existing interest in something or other - for example, trains. There's nothing wrong with this; after all, photography is a broad church and welcomes a wide range of approaches. But, understandably, for such people the interest resides principally in the content of the image rather than the way that content is presented photographically. That's not to say that the wider considerations of composition, colour, mood etc are absent, merely that they are not key factors in the way they might be in other fields of photography.

As I've said elsewhere in this blog, I'm happy to be a photographic generalist. It means that I see photographic opportunities wherever I am, and that is something that I find enriches my life. It means - I think - that I see more than I would if I specialised, and that my perception of the world is enhanced by having self-consciously trained myself to try to see rather than to simply look. The distinction between seeing and looking is also a theme that I've tackled before and is perhaps key to me taking today's photograph. It helps me to enjoy how the subject is a semi-abstract geometrical composition and an essay in light and shade as well as just a simple standard lamp in the corner of a room.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 320
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On