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The story behind that picture: "Things that become images"

By: Thorsten Overgaard


You may not be aware of just how unique a quality you possess when it comes to cameras and photography

The quality you have is that you can see the existing and dream up what it can become. This is simply the ability to create, and no matter how a technologically advanced camera you may get, it will never be able to see anything but what exists.

Being able to see something and imagine the possibilities for it, to become something is by far the most advanced feature you will ever encounter. You can call it spirit, mind or brain. It really doesn't matter, fact is that you have this ability and that is what you mainly use when photographing.

Camera as a tool

A camera essentially is a box that controls light. If you have a simple camera it is very easy to see that this is what a camera should do, and very easy to control. A simple camera allows you to put your attention in front of the camera.

Despite the simplicity of what a camera essentially is, camera producers come up with new and even more advanced cameras with all sorts of features that are aimed at 'helping' you by making decisions for you.

Your role

If you don't watch out, your role shifts from the one taking the pictures, to a consumer trying to understand a camera attempting to take the pictures for you.

The viewpoint that taking pictures has to do with capturing the existing, is wrong. What photography is about, is seeing the existing and see what it could become.

When I walk with a handful of photographers, all using the same camera and lens - taking pictures of the exact same object - the results are a handful of very different images. This alone is good proof that it is not the camera nor the lens that dictates the image.

It is you who takes the photograph, the same way that you make your day and your own life. Photography just happens to be something you can do along the way, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Certainty in creating
Of course there is things to be learned to be better and have more certainty in creating images. Timing, composition, seeing the quality of light, dealing with people and getting the right exposure and such, are the tools you learn along the way. But the first task is getting a camera, you can understand and control. If you can't understand your camera you can't control it.

And the moment you get a camera that you understand and like, you will want to bring it with you and shoot things you see in your surroundings which can become great photos.

There is no status quo in photography. It all lies in the next moment.

The Lightroom Survival Kit

Thorsten Overgaard, February 12, 2012





The uniqueness is that you and not the camera take the picture. But the most advanced feature in photography is actually your ability to see what will become, whereas a camera and the not so artistic trained mind only see what already exists.







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The Story Behind That Picture

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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

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