I have a few photographers that stand out from the crowd and I really admire for their work. And the interesting thing about a picture is that usually a picture gives one person a great feeling, however another feels nothing for it.
And for the record, this has nothing to do with equipment or relation to it, just the unselfish way of explaining the world in pictures.
Some photographers like Elliott Erwitt and Johan Brun really catch moments or take portraits that almost anyone I know remember for eternity.
Elliott was born 1928 and his quote was “the whole purpose of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words”. And he really lives up to his words. Johan was born in 1922 so they have both lived through a really changing world with it’s up and downs. And this is my really important approach to pictures, they should tell a story that really is chosen by the viewer. An image will always be the moment in time where a person was at a point in life an had a really good eye for something to express for a lifetime.
A picture is not made a few hours after the shot, it is made then and there and if it gets changed in a way that do not fit the intention when captured. It is no longer a true picture, it is more like a cartoon or a fantasy, not the projected reality.
I am a firm believer that true photography needs only a eye for how a story can be told, a good way to show it to those who would enjoy it and a archive making it easy to get back to it if needed again.
Anything may be added and changed in an image through a computer, and back in the days there was a number of ways to alter an image and play with the light when developing an image. However I do belive there is a difference in noticing the details when taking the pictures that needs to be changed, rather than taking a bunch of pictures without noticing the errors in it.
If you take a picture of anyone, try to catch the eyes and sun in the hair rather than the food they eat or how perfect life is. Do also try to capture the not so perfect moments, or should I say brief moments, because together it tells a real story and not just one side of it. Shoot when they think, play, meet their kids after work, when the day has worn them down or when the sun has awakened them to a new day. Make the story and just like words do, pictures that makes a story gives a better gratitude than those who just shine.
You never see a picture of the credit card bill next to someones new motorcycle on Facebook. If you would the story would most likely be a lot more real if the pictures was taken of the person when getting the keys for the bike, and then another when fighting the payment for it.
There are always two sides to any story, and the true photographer may just make you see both sides in the same image. Those images are priceless. The shiny side and the hard work.
Those are the real moments and together they are a life.