by Scott Bourne
Post – Inspired by Seth Godin
If you look at how many people it takes to make a movie, or record a CD, or build a bridge or to make a car, you might stop to realize that the beauty of photography is that generally, it is the work of one human being. The maker of the photograph alone creates the composition, finds the light and presses the button. Yes, there are a few exceptions to this in professional photography where there are set designers, models, makeup artists, etc., but I’m talking about the average prosumer’s work here. One person with a camera and an idea, by themselves, ready to thrive on the glory of success or the agony of failure – all by themselves.
For many, the solitary nature of photography as an art form is a very appealing thing. I once spoke with Leonard Nimoy. Back in the mid 1990s, he exhibited his nude photography on the Internet for the first time through my site f64.com. He told me that while making movies was something he enjoyed, it was always a collaborative effort. You had to rely on others doing their part before you could do yours. You had to let the project sink or swim based on the combined effort. The notion that you alone can make a photograph – and that you alone can control the outcome and live with it, was something that drew him into photography. He remains a very dedicated and serious photographic artist to this day.
I know that when I am alone, in the woods, or at a park or even at a race track, I feel challenged to find a way to tell my story and I feel gratified knowing that it will live or die based solely on my effort.
There’s nobody to blame but yourself when the image doesn’t work. The good news is – there’s also only one person who deserves an “attaboy” when it does – and that’s you!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.