I’m asking all 2 Guys Photo readers to settle a dispute, one that’s been rolling around in my head for a while now. It has to do with photographic intent, the notion of being deliberate in the manner in which you work. To pre-establish an artistic vision and then to go out and realize that vision.
There’s a famous Ansel Adams quote about making, not taking great photographs. Ansel would suggest that photographic intent comes right down to working with the elements you have, manipulating, processing, contorting. Ansel would have, I’ll presume, used a lot of action verbs in describing the meaning behind his quote.
But then there’s this…
Donning some type of photographic recording device and then entering the world where beauty is to be discovered, not made. Where the artist’s job is to see and then to use the tools at his or her disposal simply to record. Sure, processing and manipulation can follow, but those always serve the purpose of refining the beauty, not creating it.
Is this a hollow argument? Am I thinking too much about it? Are these extremes really extremes at all? Options? Or am I simply awash in a gigantic bowl of semantical spaghetti?
For me, I like to discover. The camera provides me with a 1×1 or 4×3 or 3×2 aspect window through which I merely peer.
What about you?