Thought I'd share the thoughts from Picture Correct, a photography website I follow. Picture Correct

I am certain that a detailed survey of every reader of this article would demonstrate very clearly one main thing: we are all unique. We may share many things in common with each other—race, nationality, ethnicity, profession, interests or temperament, to name a few—but the special mix of your personality and everything that has ever happened in your life combines to make you absolutely unique on this planet. Nobody does being you better than you! I don’t know about you, but I find that quite satisfying! I’m the best in the world at being Alister Benn (smug face!).

In this article it is my goal to highlight the importance of expression and individuality in contemporary photography.


If you stood five world-class photographers along the edge of the Grand Canyon and they all made a photograph, you would have five very different photographs. Each of them may be equally expressive, equally stunning, but they will all look and feel different. That difference between the images will be a few minor technical changes, but vastly more creative and expressive differences employed by each of the photographers.

Reality Check #1

There is no fast track to creativity. Nobody is born brilliant and everyone who produces incredible work puts in a lot of time honing their art and craft. In photography, as with life, you get out what you put in—if you work methodically. Rarely will frenzied, unfocused activity result in superb work. I have always been an advocate of taking creative control of your images. That way you stand a far greater chance of finishing with something that is in line with your vision and articulate as an expressive image. The Creative Summary

There are a number of disciplines that all go on simultaneously, but for ease of learning are split into separate elements to save the brain from melting! In the simplest terms, what we do when we have a camera in our hands is this: Compose | Expose | Focus | Process Modern cameras are capable of taking care of three of those disciplines, leaving many people to view the art of creativity as composition alone. We’ve all heard, “I have a good eye!” Can contemporary photography be reduced to the choice of what to shoot and how to arrange the elements within the frame? That’s a rhetorical one, so I’ll leave you to ponder it! Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t believe things were a little more involved than that, and for the rest of this article will work with this more elaborate model: Creative Vision | Visual Design | Technical & Creative Capture | Expressive Processing The first key distinction here is we have introduced two words, creativity and expression. Let’s be honest here. If you want to communicate only the following messages… I was here. The place looked like this. The weather was like this. I was with these people. …surely they communicate well with friends and family, but if you want to reach beyond that to people you don’t know around the world, then you should aim to articulate on a more meaningful level. Ansel Adams always said there are two people in every photograph: the photographer and the viewer. We have to remember that. The viewer has none of our sensory perception that was working on overdrive while we were making the photograph. Touch, taste, sound, moods, emotions, feelings, hormones! Our experience of the world is intense and complete; we are being bombarded by signals every second we are alive. When viewers look at our photographs, all they have are two dimensions of luminosity and tone/color. If we have any chance of instilling even a few percent of what we experienced then we need to load the image with plenty of triggers and emotions.This is our INTENTION.

The article continues to go on. But I share this because I like you love the challenge that photography provides.


Jack Comer

Hey Jack - Allen Humphrey here. I just read this article and its quite invigorating to read your thoughts of this wonderful emotion we put into our photographic endeavors. Thanks for sharing.

I stumbled onto this by accident, Jack. Why by accident? Because, lamentably, there isn't much participation in this forum (check the dates of last response in the other categories). I like the way you think! I would add one thing to your excellent summation: Contrary to most visual media, photography is subtractive whereas most art is additive. The painter adds elements to his composition until he/she feels it complete. The photographer usually spends a lot of time simplifying the arrangement, discarding distracting elements , if possible, until nothing is left except the items which convey the photographer's idea.

As a microstock contributor I recognize this, also: Images are cheap and getting cheaper. For all the arts the internet and digital revolution have increased the saturation of all media and made it free or almost free to everyone. We are inundated with sounds and pictures. There is not a high value placed on any individual art object or upon its many clones and variations. So, ultimately, as you have said, we'd better try to satisfy ourselves!