Well, to be honest (which I mostly always am), the pictures I have taken in the past year have been of myself. With things like Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter, pictures of myself on a webcam or phone seem to be the quickest and most egotistical way to communicate with my friends.
Truly, most of my senior year was having people take pictures of me; sporting events, theatre, yearbook, graduation, senior pictures… all of them of me, taken by someone else. I’ve never felt the need to take pictures in an artistic way. I always had the mindset that if there is someone better at doing what I’m trying to do, let them do it. My friend Tory was the photographer, so I became the writer. Now, looking back at my whole high school career, there was a time when I had to be the photographer, when I had to document where no one else could. This was on my exchange in Germany. Prepare yourself for a lot of anecdotes from Germany, because that’s what is in store from me this semester. Truthfully Germany and camp are my only outlets where I have any personal documentation of my experiences.
Starting at the beginning, as these things usually do, I would say that I began taking pictures of animals. Even now going to the zoo gets me at least a hundred pictures and for no reason. Those animals aren’t going anywhere, they’re not particularly special memories, so why do I take pictures of them? I’m an animal lover, I guess. I want to be able to see them wherever and know that I am the one that photographed them. I will never understand this thought process; National Geographic has breathtaking photos of every animal in the world and yet I still insist on taking 5 blurry pictures of a polar bear through a dirty glass window. Riddle me that.
When I started taking pictures at camp, where I grew up being a camper and now where I live, everything meant a lot to me. It is a place that I love, so every nook and cranny seemed to have some sort of significance.
Now, this is when I started trying to be artsy- Note to self: Just because you take a picture of a leaf up close doesn’t mean you’re Ansel Adams. Some of the pictures did turn out pretty cool, like the ones I took of the horses that we had at camp. I knew the horses really well because that is where I spent a lot of my time in the summer. In this way, my obsession with animals continued. I did take other pictures where light and colors seemed to highlight the places at camp that I adored, but I always credit those shots to nature. I’ve never felt that anything I do can make an image more beautiful than the real thing. I gave up in Germany because I knew no images could capture the way I felt in a certain place or time. As much as I wanted to document my experiences, photos alone could never really cut it.
I took a LOT of photos in Germany. This is when I realized that I am very much a landscape photographer. As I mentioned before, I’ve always been a fan of Ansel Adams and the way he captured nature with the simplest of means. Many of my pictures from Germany tried to capture as much of the place I was in as possible.
I never focused on detail, only the big picture. I realize now that I am that way in a lot of my life. I take a picture when there is something to capture and in my photos, you’ll always know what that something is.