Behind The Lens

Posted on July 10, 2011


Often times when we view an image, we try to think about what the photographer would want us to see.  However, I sometimes wonder what was going on when the photographer made his/her image.  To make my point, I submit my latest FARMEX HDR image.  On the surface, it is a field of sunflowers with the focus on a prominent example with a bit of dramatic natural lighting due to a passing storm.  Through the magic of Dynamic Photo HDR, the single subject has a light halo that further draws the eye.  However, the story behind the story is more dramatic than the lighting.  I was sitting at home with my wife.  The kids were playing in the pool.  The dogs were sleeping behind the couch.  Just a lazy Sunday.  I started hearing thunder and knowing that most West Texas storms are short lived, but usually pretty severe, I knew that the kids needed to come inside.   Of course they were disappointed, but as we watched the thunderheads roll in from the east, I knew that a little storm chasing would perk them back up.  So we all jumped in the truck and headed off in search of some good photo ops.  If you don’t know, Lubbock is FLAT.  Flatter than Flat in most places.  I’m still learning how to deal with the feature-less, flat landscape, but a blustery sky does help to play down the less than stellar land.  I had seen this field of sunflowers earlier in the week, but did not stop since the skys were a boring pale blue.  However, now this field was being blown around and lit by the diffused light of an afternoon thunderstorm.  We stopped the truck and waited on the rain to ease up before trespassing our way into the field.  I took several shots and bracketed a few more.  The kids were thrilled with the high winds and constant blasts of thunder.  I was finding it very difficult to get a decent shot (Hard to believe given the 40mph winds).  Anyway, the point of all this is that as a photographer, I try very hard to include my family in my search for the perfect photo, and in turn they encourage me to do my best.  Secondly, next time you see a thought provoking photo, think about what it might mean to the photographer.  Was he with his lover in a romantic spot?  Was he with his family enjoying the scenery?  Was he alone wishing to share the beauty around him?

“Every photograph means something to the one who took it.”  -Adam Tillman