Taking or Making Photos

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking pictures as compared to making pictures. Now I take a lot of pictures – I enjoy taking pictures. In my design classes, there has been a fair amount of photography, and thinking of photography as both a technical process and an art. In design, generally, you are expected to make pictures: to arrange the world into a state that communicates an idea, and then capture that in a photo. Usually when I take photos for my own enjoyment I’m not making pictures, I’m taking them. For me this is a way of experiencing the world around me, not arranging it to my specifications. This is generally how I approach life in general, – I’m an experiencer, not an arranger. This has a significant effect on the images I produce. Sometimes I’m tempted to think that taking pictures is a lesser art form than making them. I’m not sure this is the case though. Either way you’re capturing a subjective view of the world around you, and all the same composition and color theory principles apply. Your pictures say a lot about your life, whether you experience or create, and either approach can communicate a variety of messages. I think that the result of taking pictures is often un-original, and I think that’s due to the fact that we all experience many of the same things, and in general, life can get boring. So maybe taking and making photos are the same, but what with taking photos, you’re manipulating your life rather than a composition of objects or people in front of your lens. So there’s the challenge – create an interesting life for yourself and you can *take* interesting photos.

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