And it's not that I'm displeased with the results, it's just that it's not a very teaching-friendly process. So, I have generally tried to avoid ever being put into a situation where someone might ask me to teach photography. I had to avoid being put into the situation, because I'm such a push over, that I knew if I were ever asked, I wouldn't be able to refuse.
Well, they caught me, and I said yes.
What surprised me, as I prepared (overly so) to teach thirty women how to take pictures, was to find that I actually had something to say.
Since that time, I've been considering refining what I said, and making it a little more comprehensive -- not to mention more comprehendable -- so that next time (should that fateful day ever come), I won't sound like such a babbling idiot. And that's where you come in, dear blog readers: for the next several Sundays, I'm going to give you a crash course in Photography according to Chris.
Photography by a Dummy.
So, here goes:
Lesson One: Philosophy
I get asked, from time to time, what makes a good picture. My photographic philosophy, in a nutshell, is this: if you like it, it's a good picture.
Photography is art, and the word art is short for articulation -- the act of giving utterance or expression. Art is something we create and whether it is drawing, singing, dancing, painting or photography, it is our personal expression to the world.
To create art, is to gather the elements that surround us, and form them into something unique in the Universe -- something no one has ever seen before. It is an expression of the divine that exists within each one of us. You have the right to create it, and you have the right to call it good.
Having said that, it's one thing to express yourself, it's something else entirely to be understood.
I can bang away on a piano, in a fit of self expression, and clear the room in seconds. No one is obligated to appreciate or even to acknowledge me.
But, if I learn some of the fundamentals, if I learn how to read the music and what notes sound good together, if I begin to grasp the ideas of rhythm and timing, then I just might get a few of you to stick around.
Eventually, if I practice, and if I refine and hone my skills, I will create something sublime. I may even begin to draw you in to hear what I have to say.
When we express ourselves to the world, it's because we have something to say. We need to learn to communicate.
We take pictures for two basic reasons: to document, and to remember. Most people want to take nice pictures, but most also treat their camera as a piece of documentation equipment. I want you to learn to think of your cameras in a different way. I want you to stop thinking of your camera as a piece of recording equipment. Your camera is your pen, it is your paintbrush.
The camera is no longer a documenter, it is a storyteller.
The Photographer's Code (more guidelines than actual rules...)