Philosophy and Attitudes


Charlie with a camera

Welcome to Sweet Light Photo’s blog site.  This blog provides beginning photographers, amateurs, and even professional photographers a forum where photogs may ask questions and share ideas in their quest to produce mind-blowing images.

I have been not been without a camera since I was seven years old, at least not for any long period.  However,  owning a camera doesn’t  by any stretch, make anyone a photographer but it does witness my passion for creating images.

Over my lifetime I have spent countless hours studying images and reading books produced by the great names of photography – Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lang, Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, Edward Weston, Irving Penn… well you get the picture… attempting to understand what made their images important and more importantly,  if I could do the same.

I’ve come to understand that a great image is a product of one’s imagination and attitude towards life, combined with their ability for creative design and a working knowledge of their camera.

Using my recipe to success, a photographer  –

  •  first must have a desire to create!
  • must understand the operation of their camera no matter how simple or complex,  and be able to use it instinctively as an extension of their mind and body; never let your camera get in the way of making a good photograph
  •  must have a sense of design and an eye for detail; it is the small things that make or break an image:
  •  must develop and practice the skill of “pre-visualization“, and study the art of choosing the decisive moment to release the shutter and capture their vision.
  •  must be able to compose photo elements in a fashion that will create visual tension in their image, strong enough to capture and hold the viewers’ eyes.

Experimentation leads to discovery and a greater understanding of your camera’s potential. “Fiddling with the dials” is okay as you are developing camera skills, but don’t become a “hopeful shooter“.  You know this person; they will take multiples of shots of the same subject at different camera settings and different angles,  hoping that one of the multitudes will be a fine shot.

We will study photography along two converging lines: the camera; and creative photo composition.

Finally, let me finish with an analogy comparing photographers to chefs – simply buying an expensive camera does not make one a photographer any more than buying expensive cookware makes one a chef.  Success stems from skillful use of those tools by applying and expressing their creativity through/with them.  Without creative input, an expensive camera produces nothing but a sharp snapshot.  Consider Henri Bresson, he created magnificent art with a simple point-and-shoot camera!