Pressing the shutter button on my camera should mean I'm capturing a moment in real time, yet the resulting image is anything but objective, as it presents the viewer with my personal experience and interpretation of a particular moment. Interpretation being the key word, both in terms of the image I choose to make, and how it is experienced by the viewer.
Photography involves choices, some technical, most subjective, particularly when it comes to the choice of subject matter and lighting. Picking up a camera and capturing a moment in time, particularly in the digital age, appears almost more science that it does art, yet even with so much technology at our disposal, the images we make are more likely to be the result of an unconscious process, influenced by any number of environmental and personal factors that we don't necessarily consider at the precise moment of making a photograph. In fact, the image we end up with is often a serendipitous coincidence of practise, patience and luck.
Even after creating a particular image, or group of images, there is still the process of choosing which version of that image, or group of images, is the one that best represents the reality the photographer captured, or responded to, at a given moment in time. You only have to look at a contact sheet of 4, 8, 12, or more, of the same image, to see that there is always one that stands out - that has a been circled or ticked as "The One". A lot of the time this choice is technical, but even if each image were technically equally strong, the chosen image is the one that just feels right; the selected image is the one that presents a reality that the photographer intended to capture, or if shooting for a client, the reality the client wishes to present in printed form.
What makes a particular version of reality resonate with a particular person is subjective, of course, but then reality itself is subjectively experienced by all of us, despite apparently hard evidence to the contrary.
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Lynda Higgs is a Fine Art Photographer specialising in Street and Travel Photography. She has lived and travelled in diverse cultures over the last 20 years, and currently lives in vibrant Glasgow, Scotland, with her husband and young daughter.
© Lynda Higgs 2013-2018. All Rights Reserved. No images or text on this site can be used without prior written permission.