The decision to stop and start, or to quit once and for all, is the most difficult one which every artist faces many times in his/her lifetime. Keeping our inner child (artist) alive even with the daily vigour of life is the real challenge. It is said that when young, Picasso learned to paint like an adult, and when old, Picasso discovered to paint like a child again. But he didn’t quit. He was painting till his death at almost 90 years of age. Will we be?
For me, clicking the shutter is only the start of the process of making a photograph. It starts much before that, with preparation – choosing the location, the right gear and the composition of the photograph, and continues after – with the post processing before getting the final product that the photographer wanted to create.
When a painter paints a landscape or a portrait, he might choose to use color or do it in black and white, he might choose to paint it with a darkish tone to it, or paint something completely abstract depending on his/her taste or style. That is his artistic imprint over the painting he is creating.
Similarly I believe that photography is an art form, and the photographer can use the camera as a tool just like the painter uses his brush and colors to create a photograph, which might or might not confirm with reality.
The creative journey of a photographer goes through many milestones, and I think everybody realises at some point that the camera (and other gear) doesn’t really matter that much, and great award winning photographs can be taken with just a smartphone or any point and shoot camera.
In this article I have tried to summarise the steps a photographer goes through (if one does) as photography goes from being a hobby to a profession to an obsession.
Any great photograph which make you stop and wonder its beauty, whether it is a landscape or a street shot, is that way because of the way the photographer decided to frame the shot and never because of the camera and lens he is using. Sure, the camera is important to get the technical aspects of the photograph right – its sharpness, saturation and clarity, but it is just that, a tool to get the technical aspects right so that the photographer can focus on ‘seeing’.