I was first introduced to digital photography in the spring of my sophomore year. That was the semester when I took the Photography I class at my high school. Before this class, I had never even used a digital camera for anything other than family photos.
My knowledge of the interworking of a camera much less Photoshop was very limited. In this class, I learned how to manipulate digital camera to produce the best shots. What simultaneously attracted and frustrated me with photography was how technology could be used to create art. Something quantifiable could create something unquantifiable.
Like all good art, photography requires an immense amount of practice to create a finished product. My teacher once told us that if for every one hundred shots we had one good shot, we should have one good shot. What makes photography a unique visual art form is that you can’t succeed with genius alone–it takes skill. It requires an advanced level of knowledge, technique and eye for composition.
My combined experience with photography and dance has given me a unique and trained eye for aesthetic. Dance is about creating shapes and photography is about capturing shapes. I know how the angle of a hand affects the line of arm because of my dance training. I know how a person’s eye will follow that line because of my photography training.
Both art forms spill into the other. In dance and photography, there is an obsession over image, lines and patterns. Dancers and choreographer think about how they move through and take up space. Photographers think about how to capture that space. The relationship between the two often overlaps with similarities.
The photos that I am the most attracted to are the ones that distort with reality by changing proportions, focus or point of view. I think this preference is partly because of my training in dance. In my opinion, good photographers show what is hidden to the human eye. What could be more hidden than motion that cannot be replicated?
My little hobby has filled many idle afternoons whether my subject is my pets, plants or whatever catches my eye. Since that class, I have continued to try to increase my skill level. Every vacation or just when I have a free afternoon I am taking photos. Whether it’s a fall afternoon or a road trip to Yellowstone National Park, I am looking for my next opportunity to capture motion.