Camera Position 186 : Objective and Subjective 

Among the many things that make photography such an interesting pursuit are its qualities of objectivity combined with subjectivity. In the end, photography is an objective medium with a subjective soul.

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Varenna, Lake Como, 2016 - Photograph by Jeff Curto
Varenna, Lake Como, 2016 – Photograph by Jeff Curto
Varenna, Lake Como, 2016 - Photograph by Jeff Curto
Varenna, Lake Como, 2016 – Photograph by Jeff Curto


Each one of these images is ostensibly of the same subject (or is it object?) but each one dramatically different from the other based on my subjective interpretation of the scene. Thinking through the choices we make is what makes photography tick.

2 thoughts on “Camera Position 186 : Objective and Subjective ”

  1. This is one of the most difficult parts that a photographer needs to learn in order to “see”. The way we normally see, as you stated, is subjectively. Our eyes scan everything around us and build a model in our brain of the world as we perceive it. We can selectively concentrate on anyone subject without much regard to the perspective from which we perceive it. But again as you stated the camera sees all objectively. We need to learn the syntax of the camera system we’re using and how it will capture the world. Once we understand this we can change the model in our brain that we have created to then approximate what we wish to capture with the camera. We can then move to this perspective point, point, set up our camera and capture the image that we have in our mind. When one can do this without much thought, it can be said they are very close to “seeing”.

  2. This struck a chord Jeff. This is how I introduce my web site:

    ” The Photographer asks the Artist to explain why the camera was pointed where it was (the Subject) and why the shutter was activated when it was (the Moment).

    The Photographer doesn’t know these things…its not his job to know the “why” only the “how”.

    The Artist can’t explain the “why” because there aren’t words for it and he won’t know for sure until the image again stirs something deep in the Viewer’s being.

    And ultimately that is something that the Viewer can’t explain either. “

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