a general approach to photography

photography is the creation of images, using cameras

mine is a pictorial approach, where the object is to create the most effective image in the widest possible range of circumstances

the fundamental principle: photography is a two stage process, the camera’s role is to gather the best available raw material for images to be created in the contemporary darkroom, that is the computer

this is classical photography as practiced throughout the twentieth century, and partly lost during the twentyfirst.

the tools are different now, better, faster, cheaper.

these are my priorities at the camera:

  • be there. The first essential is that when there’s a picture to be taken, you are actually there, with your camera, space on the card, and power in the battery.
  • compose. Seeing an image within a scene, and framing that vision to be photographed into a satisfying picture, is a primary artistic skill that photography helps develop.
  • expose.
  • other technical factors. colour balance, focus choices, camera shake…

and for the edit

  • consider the potential of each exposure. What does it offer for image creation?
  • adjust contrast, brightnesses, colour balance, saturation, geometry, and crop
  • create your vision using the tools available to you
  • aim your edit at your audience and the output device you expect to use

Some of the work I reserve for the edit can be done in-camera, but this seems a bit of a hostile environment for the delicate judgements involved in adjusting a picture. The gather-computer edit approach leads to a helpful cycle of exposure and examination, allowing the photographer to learn about what works for them, aesthetically and practically.

a note about colour balance