Obsessions In Photography

Chris Sneddon is talking about her recent obsession over at Shutter Sisters today and she’s asking readers to share any obsessions they may have when it comes to photography. Her question made me think about why I photograph what I do. My photography tends to be closely linked to what I write about here on my blog. This would include images that provide a documentary look at topics such as the pasty competition posts from the last few days to photographs that are inspiration for personal essays and others that illustrate the mini short stories I’ve written for TMAST.

I take photographs to tell a story and there’s always a story. Whether it’s real or imagined, mine or yours, every picture has a story waiting to be told. My obsession is in the finding, first the photograph and then the words. I have included a few of the 32,000 photographs I’ve taken in the last two years.  32,000  photographs in two years … does that seem like an obsession to you?

I would love to hear what you like to photograph and if there’s any subject matter you think you get a bit obsessive with when you have a camera in hand.

17 thoughts on “Obsessions In Photography

  1. Well now you’ve worried me. Whereas I instinctively frame a shot almost every time, so often I have no story at all in my pictures that I am aware of, zip. My response is visceral around colour, shape and texture. Not always, but a lot. Maybe I tell a story but don’t realise it, but I can’t help feeling that being conscious about the storytelling aspect is key to making a difference in the picture, and how the picture “speaks” to the viewer. Understanding that difference, and pushing beyond it, may well help me to dive into a new place in my photography. So thank you very much for that insight.

    32,000 pics? Hmmm. Thank goodness for digital, I guess, or you’d be flat stoney broke?

  2. I adore the picture of the gargoyle at the end. Definitely my favourite one. For me, I’m obsessed with documenting. I take pictures because I want to capture moments in my life that would otherwise fade into distant memories. I don’t want to lose the details in my life and photographs hold on to those details for me. I am obsessed with analysing and recording the world around me and taking pictures is one of the ways I do that, combined with extensive journalling, keeping a blog, and doing a multitude of crafts drawn from the inspiration gained from the other activities.

    I recently posted a batch of pictures from a trip to Banff on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/amaranthroad

  3. Hmmm..Vehry Intuhrasting (very interesting, trying to be cutsie). I would love to have arty reasons…I just try to capture moments. I am the family chronicler (sp) and have an amateur interest but a definite appreciation for the good stuff like your amazing pics on your post. Thank you for sharing.

    side note: I have awarded you a blog award and specifically mentioned that it is meant as a gesture and does not require compliance with the rules (some seem like chain letters) just a way for me to post favorite blogs of which yours is one of my favorites. THank you and let me know if any of this is a bother.

  4. I love the pictures of the coffee and cup on the tray. Similarly I love Mariellen’s picture of a plate with a section of orange and walnut that she had on her blog recently. Both are close up intimate photos of food that capture a mood that is very appealing.

    I have a camera and I take pictures of my surroundings, especially when it snows, but that’s about the extent of it.

  5. Years ago, I took a photography class at the Parks and Rec Department. I learned how to center frame the subject, not to have light poles sticking out of a head, lighting, etc. Just enough to help my photos look a bit better.

    When I worked in a daycare center, I liked to take pictures of the children to document their time while away from their mommas. An easy gift for hardworking parents.
    More than one mother was brought to tears seeing the photos, either because of having missed the moment, or maybe knowing the kid was able to get along okay in the world.
    I had an Olympus Infinity film camera then, and I knew it so well it was like an extra few inches of my hand.
    It “died” when it was 18 years old, and I gave it to a friend who wanted to sell it online.

    My husband bought a small digital Minolta for me, and I do take pictures now and then. I think the digital camera takes too much effort to use — I have to disable a couple functions each time I turn the thing on.
    Plus, using the memory card at the store to get decent prints takes too long, but sending online is not always handy.
    I guess I’m old-fashioned since I passed the half century birthday.

    I do love to capture moments of a child’s joy, but I don’t work daycare now, and people get suspicious of adults with cameras around kids. Never know how and where a picture will be used.
    I rarely remember to have my camera handy.

  6. I love the end shot, it blows me away. Actually, might I buy a print?
    I shy away from photography these days, unless it’s to record our daily happenings. I found, like many artists and their art, that the obsession was so consuming that it became painful.

  7. Photography is a new obsession for me–I’m just a beginner, but I find that everywhere I look, I’m imagining how the scene would look in my viewfinder. I have so much to learn, but i look forward to the journey.

    Since Christmas I’ve taken over 3,000 photos. I’m on my way!

  8. You know, I’ve beenn thinking of buying a camera lately. There is so much in India where I live that is worth photographing. And I think that that is what is missing from my blog too. You just might start seeing photographs on my blog real soon.

    I’ve benefited greatly from your photos because they actually gave me the inspiration to write.

    Hope you are well!

  9. I love your photos especially the one of the trees and the mountains with the people in the background.

    I am not sure what I used to do, I didn’t have my own camera..for years….I have taken so many photos in the last few years, and especially since i started blogging.

    I really don’t travel much at all, last year was an exception with 2 trips to Paris and then holiday with my husband to France…normally one trip a year.

  10. What a treat, Elizabeth! Your photos are so lovely – they take my breath. I look forward to the day when I have a little time to get to know my new camera (Canon EOS Rebel T1i) and learn to take decent photos (right now I take family snapshots with a Canon Powershot).
    Your photos are magical and bring me such peace when I view them. Thanks! (I’d gladly view all 32,000 if I had the opportunity!)

  11. I have enjoyed your photos so much. You “take me there” with every shot. and that, i think, is important in a photograph.
    i have been pondering this lately , specifically this past weekend. i realize no one else really cares about my photos so i better have a good reason i take them for myself. i love being outdoors taking photos – “seeing” everything around me. i photograph in hopes of getting a great image but mainly to capture the moment, the memory, for me. There’s nothing I like better than to pour over old photos and relive great memories. I can’t imagine not having a camera and or not ever taking a photo again.

  12. I really enjoy your photography and the “mood” that I see in each photo. The things I like to photograph the most are paths, sunsets/sunrises, butterflies, and the small things that most people miss seeing. Unfortunately, I don’t get out with my camera as much as I would like to.

  13. You should stop in over at my blog… I’m starting a photo sharing group called ‘Photo of the Week!’ It’s just a way for people to share photos and the story that goes with them, if they like. Your sentiments about each photo carrying a story pretty much captured my idea completely.

    LOVE that sheep photo, by the way!

  14. I guess I’m obsessive with everything, then. As soon as I take my camera with me, I can take pictures of everything. It can be a stone, old shoes, a cup of tea, a bird, the view outside my window… everything. I don’t think there is a limit. And I can take loads of pictures of one single thing. I just love photography, and it comes from my heart, I notice that when I take pictures, as I rarely arrange things consciously. Normally I just see what happens, and in the end I notice things looking at the pictures I haven’t noticed when I took them.
    And I love the photos you took! Especially the last one and the photo of the sheep.

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