Behind the Lens: Exploring the subject

Success for many visual artists begins with the simple task of identifying a subject and exploring it to its fullest.  Discarded hammers from an abandoned piano caught my eye as I photographed multiple shots of the subject. The freedom to choose a subject and the limitation of that choice can be liberating and inspirational for a photographer.

Success for many visual artists begins with the simple task of identifying a subject and exploring it to its fullest. Discarded hammers from an abandoned piano caught my eye as I photographed multiple shots of the subject. The freedom to choose a subject and the limitation of that choice can be liberating and inspirational for a photographer.

An abandoned piano is of little news value. But as a photographer, my eye was drawn to the neglected instrument.

I grabbed my iPhone and created multiple photos exploring the piano. It was a quick and concentrated exercise in the visual study of one subject. I tried not to judge the worth of each shot. I simply framed parts of the piano that drew my eye. Using an iPhone and a Hipstamatic camera filter app added a sense of play and informality to the activity. No reason was required to produce the work other than the joy of participating in the creative process.

Success for many visual artists begins with the simple task of identifying a subject and exploring it to its fullest. The freedom to choose a subject and the limitation of that choice can be liberating and inspirational. It isn’t the grandness of the subject that is important, but rather the dedication and enthusiasm you have for the subject.

For 32 years at the Journal-World I feel I have explored and photographed Douglas County to its fullest. Although my job has ended, my love for photography will continue. Who knows — you may even see this column and some of my photos still show up here from time to time.

My thanks to Dolph Simons Jr. for hiring me, all the colleagues I’ve shared a newsroom with and everyone in this community who has expressed their appreciation for my photos and this column through the years.

Comments

David Klamet 4 months, 4 weeks ago

A few years ago I wouldn't have been able to appreciate the light, shadow, textures, and colors in photos like these. They wouldn't really have appealed to me, but now I notice--and appreciate--these subtle things a lot more.

Thank you Mike.

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