Oakland Bay Bridge
“I believe that a spectacular photo of something ordinary is more interesting than an ordinary photo of something spectacular. The latter is about something else, the former is something else.”
– Jim Coe
My photography as evolved over the years toward more ordinary subjects. Initially I sought out spectacular sunsets, unusual places, unique landscapes. But I found that these images were about the place itself, not about the photograph and certainly not about the photographer. As an artist, I felt that there was not enough of me in these pictures. There was too much of the place or the scene.
In order to make a photograph of an ordinary subject interesting, you have to figure out how to make it different than how it is usually experienced. That only comes through the addition of your own personal vision into the process. It isn’t about the scene as much as it is now about how you are expressing the scene.
When you look at a beautiful photograph of a spectacular landscape, you learn little about the person behind the camera. Perhaps it is not the ambition of all artists to give the viewer an idea of who they are, perhaps that is a self-indulgence, but is one that motivates me.
The next time you look at a painting or a photograph ask yourself, “Am I looking at the subject of the piece or am I looking at the artist?”.