If you haven’t already listened to podcast episode #1, do that now. This companion fills in some of the blanks as far as some of the details referenced but does not repeat the main content.
Here is the 1983 Playboy interview by David Sheff that is referenced in this episode (and will be in future episodes as well). On the same site, there is this as well about Adams that is worth a read. Follow @anseladams and @anseladamsgallery on Instagram too!
What does it mean to keep a diary versus create content that “goes beyond the subject”? The first part is easy to describe; nearly any photo will do. Take this one, for example, from Hot August Nights 2019, an annual classic car show in Reno, Nevada, USA.
There’s nothing wrong with this photo, per se, right? It captures the car, one of many, many on display that day. It creates a record for future reflection definitely, but it doesn’t do much more than that.
Now, compare the feeling you get from the first to the image on the right. Same car, same timeframe. Do you get the same feeling from it? How is it similar for you and how is it different?
This is a somewhat simplistic example, of course. You may think to yourself that you don’t like these particular photos. Whether they are pleasing to your personal aesthetic or not shouldn’t keep you from recognizing that they tell very different visualizations.
Those different visualization are the key, in my opinion, to what Adams describes and what I was talking about when comes to developing your “photographic eye”.
What is it that attracts you to a scene? What do you “see” versus what you see? How can you capture that attraction and clearly and powerfully? How are you crafting the result to convey that power to the viewer?