When it comes to the practice of photography, I truly believe that all subject matter—if captured in the right light and taken with a fair amount of technical skill—has the potential to make for a quality photograph. It is the intent behind said photograph, however, and the schematic capturing of this conceptual intent which has the potential to make a true impact on one’s perspective audience and urge them to experience a specific set of feelings—quite possibly the very same emotions felt by the photographer when the photograph was taken. Before the commencement of this class, I was genuinely satisfied with going out and aimlessly taking photographs of everything and anything, for the sole motive of proving that I could, in fact, make anything look artistic and meaningful. Over the course of this trip, however, I realized that I was only halfway correct. Yes, a skilled photographer really can make anything—a garbage can, a homeless man, the bright blue sky, you name it—look artistic, but one’s ability to capture something and portray it in a truly meaningful way that moves an audience towards a specific mixture of emotions is an entirely different story. I really loved how each of our photography assignments were themed throughout the trip, as this tamed my curiosity just enough so that I was able to have at least some direction in mind before aimlessly documenting the captivating cities of both Paris and London. In terms of my relationship with photography changing over the course of this class, I would definitely say I am a lot more confident with regards to my photos pre-editing process. I’ve always been a perfectionist when it comes to my art and modes of self-expression, and this has always led me to edit each of my photos until I am literally blue in the face—pretty much taking all of the enjoyment out of the process. This class really opened my eyes to the beauty of my pictures the way they were originally taken, and I am proud of my transition from what was once possibly over-editing to the point of digital manipulation, to only necessary touch-ups that merely enhance what was strategically captured.
To view this complete set of photos, click on the following link to my Flickr: