Photography helps me communicate to others
I think photographs are one of the most important ways that humans communicate in the 21st century. Everybody speaks photographs. Growing up I was mostly apathetic and disinterested in the world around me. Photography, as well as the friends that I made and the books that I read, changed that.
How I got into photography
When I was in high school I took a communications technology course and one of the subjects was photography. Learning how cameras worked was fascinating. I loved making the final image look different with the shutter speed and aperture, I never took anything seriously I was just playing with the final image. I decided to ask my parents for a dslr for Christmas because I wanted to get into a photography program after high school. I was lucky enough that they bought me one and after that I kept on practicing and seeing what could be done. The camera gave me an excuse to go for long walks, something that I still love doing to this day. I’d get bored and to relieve that boredom I’d walk around trying to find something to photograph. Being curious about the world is very therapeutic for me. I think once we stop being curious then we start to get bored and jaded. This is how photography helps me, by giving me an excuse to do some childish exploring, to look around and be curious. To find something worth remembering.
Learning from the masters
Then I took a history of photography course saw the real master photographers. I still remember seeing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photograph of a man on a bicycle in France and it was like a veil was lifted over my head. I never knew such a thing could be made with a camera. The way everything works so perfectly together it was like all of the philosophers that I was studying converged into a photograph. The existentialists were the philosophers that I was reading at the time and they were also the writers that influenced Cartier-Bresson. It was only natural that his photographs show the human race. Seeing the beauty of other people in this way really changed the way I perceived the world. It helps me to get out of feeling cynical, something that’s easy to fall into. Art reminds me that life has moments that are worth remembering. Seeing the potential for a good photograph is what makes me more interested in the people and the world around me.