Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.
I profoundly believe that a photographer worthy of the name is first and foremost a human being, a person deeply concerned with the human predicament. Such a person will want to make his photography do a job of work for the particular cause he has espoused. To my mind it is this dedication which gives the photographer the moral right to stand in front of other humans with a camera in his hand. I consider any alternative an unwarranted imposition upon the rights and privacy of the subject.
The personality and style of a photographer usually limits the type of subject with which he deals best. For example Cartier-Bresson is very interested in people and in travel; these things plus his precise feeling for geometrical relationships determine the type of pictures he takes best. What is of value is that a particular photographer sees the subject differently. A good picture must be a completely individual expression which intrigues the viewer and forces him to think.
I like to think of photographing as a two way act of respect. Respect for the medium by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject by describing it as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both. I photograph to see what things look like photographed.
It’s the subject matter that counts. I am interested in revealing the subject in a new way to intensify it.
In The Ongoing Moment, Dyer asserts that a good photograph should look forward to the future of its subject. Thus, when we are old we should be able to gaze upon a portrait of ourselves from years ago and in it see intimations of the person we have become.
A photographer is a witness. He has a moral duty. Every picture must be true and honest. I believe a photographer’s strength is his ability to accurately record reality. There are photographers who think they are lucky if they find unusual or special subject. But it is never the subject that is so marvelous. It is how alive and real the photographer can make it.
The moment you take the leap of understanding to realize you are not photographing a subject but are photographing light is when you have control over the medium.
Where light and shadow fall on your subject - that is the essence of expression and art through photography.
Like it or not, a photograph is an art form, regardless of subject or style. One of the reasons I can make this generalisation is that as with anything artistic, its not a definitive thing; it means different things to different viewers and is totally subjective. To one viewer it may be crap, to another it may be superb. Just like music, sculpture, painting, the written word or film, it stirs up a different feeling and thought within anyone who looks at a picture. Its not finite like a mathematical formula but totally infinite in its communication.