Some Views on Photography as a Conversation


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Photography involves many kinds of dialogue, the most important conversation is the one with a living entity at the other end of your lens.

When photographing animals, birds, insects etc. our subjects often notice us. Sometimes they flee and sometimes they stick around. While we should not ignore our tendency to ascribe human emotions to animals (anthropomorphism), it remains true that we often have the attention of our subject. The dialogue may be complicated by the lack of sophisticated communication, nonetheless something is being communicated.

At its best there is a common curiosity. Try as we might to avoid disturbing our subjects we probably do so more than we would wish to. Hence the need to move slowly, ensure our subject is comfortable and avoid any appearance of wanting actual contact.

At a distance any creature acts naturally and capturing them untainted by communication is an option. With large and dangerous animals this may be the only option. However, you might like to experiment and make your own determination of how much more impact a conversation can have. That is not to say birds in flight, mass migrations and may other events also have impact, but a connection electrifies a photograph.

The picture above is of a juvenile Muskrat that looked up only a few times as he mowed his/her way through the foliage.

3 responses

  1. I like the look of that muskrat.


    April 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  2. I agree. Talking with the eyes and the posture.


    April 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

  3. Cute guy!


    April 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm

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