Joel Grimes


The Art of Creating

What makes a great photograph?  That could very well be the million-dollar question.  One thing we can say for sure, it is very subjective.  The process of making a great photograph is the merging of two worlds, the technical and the artistic. 

Which plays the most important role?  No doubt this is open for debate.  It has been my observation over the years that more emphasis and thought seems to be directed towards the technical side of the process and the artistic side often gets overlooked. Why is that?  I assume that we often get fooled into thinking that if we shoot with a particular brand of camera or apply this particular type of lighting technique, we will in the end produce a greater image.  I have spent many hours testing and honing the technical side of things, but after 30 years of making photographs I must admit, that if we truly want to take our craft to the next level, we ought to direct more energy toward developing the creative artistic side of the process and let the technical fall into place.  I have often said, “Never let a technique drive your personal vision”.  That doesn’t mean that the technical craft can’t play a role in fulfilling the artistic expression in the final image.  However, it is clear that technical proficiency can only take you so far. 

My hope and encouragement for those who are seeking to move their photographic skills to the next level, is to look past the technical nuts and bolts and evaluate the process of image making from a creative esthetic perspective.  The best photographs work because they communicate an emotion, a memory, future hopes or dreams, etc., not f/stops, shutter speeds, focal lengths, or lighting ratios.  Once you get past the technical, take a look around and will see the endless opportunities of creative expression.  This is the essence of photography.

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