Why do you take photos?


Picture-11.jpgIn theme with our recent posts about what makes a photograph controversial, and what photography is in the first place, my Canadian friend Cory Johnson shares some thoughts about why he takes photos…

When we see an image, what moves us? Why do we feel what we do?

Trying to analyze that is opening a whole Pandora’s box of issues.

Photographers are visual artists. We “see” things just a little bit differerently. Why we see differently, and how we see, well, who knows….. We have our own “personal filters” as it were :) 


I take photos because photos are nothing but a frozen moment, an impression, in time. And life itself is just an endless collection of moments and impressions.

Each of these moments leaves us with an impression. From impressions arise a myriad of thoughts. Some thoughts you like, some you may not like. Some you choose to remember, while other thoughts fall into the black hole of the mind, to be forgotten forever, dissolving into the void. Or do they?

Why do we remember the thoughts we do? What attracts us to that impression? What attracts us to that image? What of that image? Is it beautiful? Tasteful? Does it fill you with joy? Happiness? Or do you find it repulsive? What do you consider ugly? How do you define beauty? Can something so ugly and repulsive be beautiful?

There is a beauty in everything we see and interact with. But if something repulses you, then why? It only reflects something in you. Take a look, see for yourself. Or do you find the same image lovely and beautful? If so, then why? Something in you reflects that as well. But how often do we remember those impressions? Not as often as we should. If something is ugly, we should remember that, too.

Define beauty. Define ugly. Because really, in the end, everything just is. It is us who attaches an impression of that moment to our existence. The moment itself does not know anything about being beautiful or ugly. It just is. Therefore you can find a moment beautiful and ugly simultaneously.

We interact with that moment and leave our impression on it. Who else remembers that moment? Is their impression the same? The moment itself just was. It did not know what to be. But we leave our impression on that moment, that image, which carries on into the ethers of space and time.

I see order and I see chaos simultaneously.

I see ugly and beauty simultaneously.

I find those moments awesome – “full of awe”.

Contributed by Cory Johnson, of Vancouver’s Max Photography.

As a ‘food for thought’ item – why do you take photos? Tell us in the comments of this post!

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