At heart, I’m a painter, and that influences my approach.
Many shots are simply for reference (sketchbook photos”), but with careful editing, the best become final product. Though the subject is the starting point of those, equally important is the composition and architecture of a shot. I often use a very formal, centered composition because, like many of the Journey paintings, they are meant to be perceived initially as a whole–a gestalt. This shows up a lot in my Underfoot series, as does an abstract sensibility to the whole image.
Don’t forget: my interests in the world we inhabit are broad-ranging–and so follows my subject matter. And though they’re lighter, simpler and less complex than my painting work, they’re still driven by the same keen interest in the whole of the environment associated with the primary subject.
Now, unfortunately, cameras are…stupid. They simply cannot record what we see in our mind’s eye. But thanks to digital technology, I can finally massage an image into a closer match. And, like my painting work, sometimes during the editing process the image starts making demands, and goes someplace I didn’t initially expect.
Of course I have to make a note about the equipment… I use a Canon Sx10 super-zoom point and shoot–getting kind of…”well-used” at this point. While it has limitations compared to its SLR big brothers, it does allow a degree of manual control, image quality is good, and thanks to the 28-560 built-in zoom, I pretty much always have the lens I need–important given that my shooting style is usually “walk-around.” In other words, the vast majority are taken while walking around, hiking, or car-tripping.
Another important bit of equipment is my 27″ iMac. And though I will drop into Photoshop as needed, I can usually get the results I want in iPhoto (now Photos), primarily focussing on levels and cropping.