THE PHOTOGRAPHIC SUBJECT
As young professional wildlife photographer, I was kind of a photo scavenger, leaning heavily on knowledge of my subjects. Sticking my nose anywhere I might catch a scent, I tried to flush out photo opportunities. My results were mixed, a few hits but lots of misses. I didn’t know much about photography but I was obsessed with my chosen subject, wildlife. Over time I came to realize that wildlife photography was more than just hunting with a camera, that photography was first and foremost, communication.
I had to become a better communicator through my photography.
As the universal language of this planet, photography must make a connection with the viewer in order to be effective. Our photographs need to tell a story or leave a simple message with the viewer, the reward for their effort.
But too often our photographs have nothing significant worth sharing. The problem can often be narrowed down to our selection of subjects, or more specifically the lack of emotion we have with our subjects. Our subject is the most important aspect of our photography, and ultimately the reason we fail or succeed.
Locating your photographic subjects does not have to be mission impossible, though it sometimes seems like it. Look no further than your own personal interests. An interest you share with millions!
I believe there is a recipe for original, meaningful photographs. But you won't find it in your camera manual. Effective communication should be our goal, not technical perfection. Your work will be at it best if the story you’re telling is presented with simplicity, clarity and authenticity.
Recipe for Original Photographs
1. selection/rejection (your subject)
2. approach (your perspective)
3. essential elements (your presentation)
– Michael Quinton
blog: The Photo Naturalist http://michaelquinton.com/blog/