Today I’ve got for you a photo of a cluster of leaves. There’s a million of these photos out there. . I’ve personally seen upwards of 1000 or more. I’ve made at least 100, maybe more. So whats the point? Who cares about a photograph of some leaves?
What’s the point of most cliche photographic subjects? Subjects like:
Roads winding off in the horizon
Sunsets sinking into the ocean
Birds in flight
Sweeping vistas of foothills and cliffs
And so forth
In defense of photographers everywhere I say this: I don’t know. We just like to photograph these things. They’re classic subjects and they look great through the ground glass and digital viewing screens. It’s unexplainable.
In an article regarding the photography of Andre Kertesz, John Szarkowski said after 200 words of formal analysis
“…there is another quality… in the work of Kertesz less analyzed, but surely no less important. It is a sense of the sweetness of life, a free and childlike pleasure in the beauty of the world and the preciousness of sight.”
A photographer knows when he’s a photographer when he/she looks through the viewfinder and feels something. It’s the anticipation of a unique creation from the world inside their viewfinder. They “feel” the dynamics and shape of the objects floating around inside their frame. If you’re not a photographer you haven’t felt this sensation. If you’ve felt this feeling you are either a photographer or an aspiring photographer because it’s addictive.
To me that is the “childlike pleasure and preciousness of sight”.