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Part One. The Photographer’s Intent

Part One. The Photographer’s Intent

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Nikon D3s, 24mm, 30 seconds @ f/22, ISO 400

Curio Bay, New Zealand, 2010.

Introduction

THE SUBJECT OF THIS BOOK IS THE EXPRESSION OF VISION OR INTENT—and not vision itself—so I’m inclined to keep my talk of vision short. However, I’ve never been accused of brevity or of saying my piece only once, so if you’ve read anything else I’ve written, this will be familiar territory. The subject of vision does need to be covered, though, because it’s central to the notion of expression, and I’ve always hated it when an author forces me to read another of his books to cover material foundational to the one I’m currently reading. Bit of a balancing act.

There can be no discussion of expression without at some point touching on that thing which we intend to express. I’ve been confused for years about the photography world’s odd backward approach, so often focusing on gear, technique, and craft without ever talking about intent or vision. I’ll use these words interchangeably because I see them as one and the same. The word vision is a tough one; we use it as a metaphor, but metaphors aren’t helpful when the language starts getting fuzzy, as it does when we use the word vision to talk about our inner intent and to describe the things we see with our eyes. Intent, on the other hand, is much clearer. It’s what you mean to say.


  

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