I was leafing through an old photography book and I came across the above quote by Ernst Haas. He was (and remains) a great influence on me.
There are quite literally millions of things to photograph and no photographer could rightly claim to have photographed everything there is, however we do not need to.
I often hear the comment, ‘there is nothing to photograph…” An amazing statement really… As I look out the window (in suburbia currently), I see many subjects and many ideas come to mind of what/how I could photograph them.
The problem isn’t the lack of subject matter. The problem is that we wander around blissfully unaware of our surroundings and we also get caught up in the world, rushing here rushing there.
STOP! Just for one moment wherever you are reading this! Look around.
Do you see a tree? Yes. Look at it as if it is not a tree, but an idea generator, branches as conduit bringing forth ideas (leaves) and photograph it accordingly…
Do you see a fence? Yes. Look at it as if it is not a fence, but a palette. A palette that has light dancing over it creating form and texture, lines and shapes.
Are you a glamour/nude photographer? View the body, not as a body but as a sculpture; view it as part of the landscape and photograph it accordingly…
Are you a flower photographer? View the flower, not as a flower but as a person with a personality…
It is not lack of subject matter, it’s a lack of ideas.
The continued challenge as a photographer is that we need to reinvent and apply new ideas to the subject matter or as Ernst Haas eloquently puts it…
“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”
For more information on Ernst Haas