However necessary, it is in our nature as humans to try to control the outcomes of our actions in, let’s say, architecture or engineering, but in art photography or travel photography, one must be in tune with nature and admit that some of the greatest images ever created by man had nature intervene.
For example, looking at the world from a reflected perspective can produce far superior images than one’s attempt at orchestrating it. Reflections can completely alter the image from something fairly straightforward to a more artistic, whimsical abstract. I especially like using water, as the liquid medium not only reflects but absorbs light in space, often with subject matter suspended in that potential energy.
In pottery, the potter’s partner is the kiln, or, more precisely, the heat generated by the fire. Without it, the potter is impotent. In photography, our partner is light and how that light is used. Introducing reflected light (images created from that light) into one’s image is to invite nature to participate in one’s image. It is letting go the need to control and admitting that nature’s contribution to one’s art, with all its impossible variables, is masterful after all.
Technically, reflected light can either spoil a great image or it can create one. The art or travel photographer is only there as a tool to translate its beauty into another form; his job is to be in the right place, at the right time and have the technical understanding plus equipment to capture it at its most elusive, not control it.
In art and travel photography, one should look at things differently. Rather than seeing and recording only one part of a larger whole, the photographer has to find and evoke the spirit in the moment he has captured. His job is to transfer it for others to share for eternity..