Everything Else

U3A Eye: Some Reflections

We take photos for a variety of reasons from the factual impersonal record, such as a scene of crime photo, to creating a piece or artwork similar to the way that David Hockney has used the medium. Many photographs are records of places, events, or people where we have some emotional attachment to rekindle memories of special holidays or family events. These photographs tend to have a personal meaning which may not be shared by others looking at them.

Then there are photos which are intended to interest other viewers by illustrating some aspect of the human condition or by simply looking at the world from a different perspective. These can usually be taken with the simplest of equipment as it is a matter of choosing where to place the camera and when to press the shutter.

There is then the category of arranged photos where the photographer has placed objects together, such as in a still life to create an interesting photograph. The traditional studio photos where everything is under the control of the photographer give free reign to the imagination of the photographer.

This can be taken one stage further with the use of computer software to produce complex images where the only constraint is the photographers’ imagination and ability to utilise the software. At the extreme the concept of a photograph disappears as it becomes painting with a computer.

Photographs like any art form are a personal choice, “I like it”, being the criteria that counts. There are some old concepts about proportions and composition but frequently the most interesting photos ignore these traditions. Does the photo engage your attention for longer than ten seconds? If so, it probably means that the image is making some connection with you.

Rather than selecting my favourite photos I have selected a few that illustrate some of the different ways we use photos.

“shadows” submitted by Cynthia Morton for the abstract theme is a good example of where the photographer has chosen a composition to capture the essence of the theme. This type of photograph can be taken with the simplest equipment


“Buoys” By Gerard Hayes in the connect theme is another example where a simple object has been photographed from a different angle to create an arresting image. Gerard used a wide-angle lens to accentuate the perspective, but many camera phones now have this ability built in.

“This is me” by Jeannie Moore is a simple but very effective still life where the composition and lighting create a pleasing and intriguing image. What is the connection between the book the flower and the photographer?

“Circles” By Ian Weatherley is a striking image created by the use of oil and water and careful use of lighting. Many hours can be spent using this technique as the results are difficult to predict.

“Trapped Inside” by Steve Albutt skilfully combines several images to create his image on the theme of inside.

See the galleries and submit to the current theme here.