That phrase – The Joy of Photography – is what I was thinking about as I selected a few images to share in today’s post. The title came quickly primarily because that is what these images convey to me.
Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
Then I remembered that I had a book on my bookshelf with a very similar title – “Photography for the Joy of It” – by Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant. It had been quite some time since I had read the book, so I pulled it from the shelf. The book showed signs of obvious wear and had lots of underlined passages, highlighted sections, and dog-eared pages…all indications that I ‘lived’ with the book a bit longer than some of my books.
“The earth has music for those who listen.”
In the first sentence of the Preface, Freeman Patterson said, “For me the joy of photography lies in being at ease with my camera, being keenly aware of things around me, and feeling free to photograph them as I please.”
That one sentence has several points upon which I could elaborate, but the part that truly resonates with me is, “Feeling free to photograph them (subjects and places) as I please.”
That’s an area that greatly interests me today with my photography; photographing subjects and places as I ‘feel’ them rather than exactly as I ‘see’ them. The freedom to photograph places in this way brings me joy, excitement, and perhaps in a strange way, a sense of peace. When photographing in this manner, I often am able to make more of an emotional connection with a piece.
Or, as Ernst Haas said, “I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”
“I really do believe that art changes the landscape of the world.”
Interestingly, Freeman Patterson also says “Nobody can ever hide behind a camera. Accept the fact that when you make pictures you are revealing a lot about yourself.”
Perhaps that joyous freedom to reveal with abandon a bit of one’s heart and soul or maybe to see things in a fresh and new way is what helps take a photograph to another realm.
On this journey with photography, that’s where I am today. That’s where I find “JOY” in my photography.
Contributed by Sue Henry
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