5 Reasons I Choose Photography as Creative Expression

October 31, 2013  •  1 Comment

I was recently asked why I chose photography as my primary visual artistic expression.  My initial, flippant response was that as a recovering accountant, there is still a surviving personality quirk that gets some satisfaction out of putting things (numbers, scenes) in little boxes and neat columns (think rule of thirds).  I've tried fiddling around with watercolor, pen and ink, and other mediums, but photography is what stuck.  I could psychologize this compulsion for control, but I choose to use it instead in the composition of images.

In the weeks following, I have mulled over why I choose photography. Choose, not chose, as art is an evolution, not a static choice.  The second reason photography continues to delight and inspire is its immediacy.  For me, there is an actual physical response to finding a pleasing combination of colors, light, and texture that can go from giddy to euphoric and since I record images in RAW format and develop them with Lightroom, that awe can be relived during processing.  I particularly treasure the times when an image with only slight impact on capture, leaps off the screen upon import.

GHOST GLYPHSGHOST GLYPHS

Not all of my rationales stem from left-brained tendencies.  Poetry has been a large part of my life since childhood and though I have put down the pen at various intervals, writing has saved my creative impulse from atrophy.  Enter photography. The sort of image that catches my eye and what I strive to produce in my own creations gives voice to a visual poem, regardless of subject matter.  With each image, my intention is to craft a metaphor gathering discordant or unconnected elements into relationship.

Those seemingly discordant and unconnected elements lead into the fourth reason for my photography and inhabit the background, the foreground, and the very ground I hike on.  I have traveled back roads and climbed around in canyons for the last 20 years, but it's taken photography to introduce me to the desert in a more intimate way.  I am much more attuned to its weather, light, and seasonal moods behind the lens of a camera.  I find myself looking forward to January ice.

The final whatfor frames all of the aforementioned reasons.  Abstract expressionism is the active ingredient that both breaks the bounds of the boxes and uses them for effect; it causes me to chase after more of certain scenes, yet sit and wait for just the right light; it celebrates emotional states I can't state in words while spawning new ideas for blogs or poems; it takes me deeper into the world of non-human and catapults me back into sharing those visions with people all over the world.  Some may argue that photography is more about realism, but for me it's about the reality of experience rather than simply reproducing the representational.

I'll never claim to be The Holy See, but photography helps me to more wholly SEE.

Author:  Deborah Hughes

 


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