Reality: the world as it is. Perception: how you see and experience the world.
1. Your perspective is unique
I think in our photography, the point isn’t to capture “reality”. No, it is for us to capture our own perception, or interpretation of the world.
I don’t think there is a single “objective” reality. We all experience reality differently. Some of us (myself included) have astigmatism, and see the world from a different perspective. Some of us are color blind. Some of us are far-sighted, others near-sighted.
The way we perceive the world doesn’t change the reality of the world. All of our perceptions of the world are unique. You wouldn’t expect a dragonfly and human being to see the world the same.
Yet, consider… humans can only perceive certain wavelengths of colors and lights. Ultraviolet rays still exist in the world… yet we cannot perceive it. **Just because we cannot perceive something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.*
2. It is all subjective.
I think we have established the difference between “objective reality” and “subjective perception”.
My thesis is this:
Your goal as a visual artist is to present your unique view of the world with others, not to present the world in an “objective” way.
For example, I think street photography isn’t about capturing“objective reality” — as photojournalists “try” to do. No, we bring our own preconceived notions, our own opinions, our own biases, and our own personal politics into the frame we create.
The more subjective you make your pictures, the better.
3. Put yourself in your own pictures
Therefore, interact with your subjects. “Bother” them. Put yourself in your own pictures. The more personal and subjective you can make your pictures, the more soul they will have. The more soul they have, the more memorable they will be. The more memorable your pictures, the more they will live in the mind, subconscious, and the heart of your viewer… the more you will change their perception of the world, and influence them to see the world differently (like how you see it).
The good artist is a good persuader, a good influencer, and is NOT objective. A good artist makes pictures for themself, but also feels joy in sharing their work with others.
So friend, don’t be afraid to follow your own unique voice. You’re a unique honey bee… make your own unique visual honey. And spread that pollen, far and wide. You won’t always flower or pollinate a plant, but the more you fly, cross-pollinate your creative sources, and the more you stay focused on your great life task… you will truly thrive as a visual artist.
YOU ARE AN ARTIST.
Make, learn, play. Every day. CREATIVE EVERY DAY is your inspirational foundation to spread your creative wings and soar to the next level.
If you’re new to photography, start here:
- Free Photography Bootcamp
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography
- 100 Photography Tips for Beginners
- The Spirit of Becoming a Photographer
- How to Make Better Pictures
- 10 Tips How to Take Better Photos of People
- How to Avoid Boredom in Photography
- How to Master Photography
- A Photographer’s Guide to Seeing
- PRETENTIOUS PHOTOGRAPHY
- Photography Energy Management
- How to Unlock Your Potential in Photography
- There Are No Good or Bad Photos
- The 5 Minute Photographer
- A-Z: PHOTOGRAPHY DICTIONARY by ERIC KIM
- Why I Want to Be a Photography Newbie Forever
- PHOTOGRAPHY FLUX.
- 10 Creative Photography Assignments to Re-Inspire You
- 50 Photography Tips by ERIC KIM
The Fundamentals of Photography
- Make Simple Pictures
- The Art of Reading a Picture
- How to Choose Your Best Photos
- GET CLOSER.
- Keep or Ditch?
- What Makes a Good Photo?
- Why Photography?
- Everyone is a Photographer
- How to take better pictures
- How to take better selfies
- How to Paint With Light
- Why Bokeh is Overrated
- What is the Perfect Camera For You?
- What to Consider When Buying a Camera
- More Megapixels, More Problems
- How to Take Better Photos
- How to Capture Emotion in Your Photos
- How to Create a “Curiosity Gap” in Your Photos
- Composition Lesson #1: Triangles
- Composition Lesson #2: Figure-to-ground
- Composition Lesson #3: Diagonals
- 40 Practical Photography Assignments
- 15 Street Photography Assignments
- 25 Photography New Year’s Resolutions
- Street Photography Contact Sheets
- Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume II
- Debunking the “Myth of the Decisive Moment”
- Each Photo You Take is an “Attempt”
- How to Overcome Photographer’s Block
- Why Do You Need “Inspiration” to Shoot?
- How to Edit Your Photos
- Grain is Beautiful
- Are Filters “Cheating” in Photography?
- Video: Introduction to Editing, Processing, and Workflow in Lightroom
How to Create a Body of Work
Technical Photography Settings
Learn From the Masters of Photography
“He without a past has no future.”
- Why Study the Masters of Photography?
- Great Female Master Photographers
- Cheat Sheet of the Masters of Photography
- 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
- Beginner’s Guide to the Masters of Street Photography
- Download All Articles >
The Masters of Photography
Classics never die:
- Alfred Stieglitz
- Alec Soth
- Alex Webb
- Alexey Brodovitch
- Anders Petersen
- Andre Kertesz
- Ansel Adams
- Blake Andrews
- Bruce Davidson
- Bruce Gilden
- Constantine Manos
- Daido Moriyama
- Dan Winters
- David Alan Harvey
- David Hurn
- Diane Arbus
- Dorothea Lange
- Elliott Erwitt
- Eugene Atget
- Eugene Smith
- Fan Ho
- Garry Winogrand
- Gordon Parks
- Helen Levitt
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Irving Penn
- Jacob Aue Sobol
- Jeff Mermelstein
- Joel Meyerowitz
- Joel Sternfeld
- Josef Koudelka / Part 2
- Josh White
- Lee Friedlander
- Lisette Model
- Magnum Contact Sheets
- Magnum Photographers
- Mark Cohen
- Martin Parr
- Martine Franck
- Mary Ellen Mark
- Rene Burri
- Richard Avedon
- Richard Kalvar
- Robert Capa
- Robert Frank
- Saul Leiter
- Sergio Larrain
- Sebastião Salgado
- Shomei Tomatsu
- Stephen Shore
- The History of Street Photography
- Todd Hido
- Tony Ray-Jones
- Trent Parke
- Vivian Maier
- Walker Evans
- William Eggleston
- William Klein
- Zoe Strauss
Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
- September 11 (Saturday): DOWNTOWN LA ADVANCED STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NEW!]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.