Above featured image

The sun was setting on a winter day in the ghost town of Carr, Colorado. As the wind blew the snow across the land, the light from the sun highlighted the result of the storm. A blizzard like this was unusual and it created an unforgettable and surreal environment to capture this photograph. Beautiful in the details and magnificent all together, this photo in a monochromatic medium displays an authentic form of a simple storm as it affects the land. Although the blizzard felt fierce, it was calm; and ultimately that's what is most powerful about this image! Captured with a Nikon D5200; 1/4,000; f/9; ISO-320; 60mm

The power of the image

It doesn't matter if you are a professional photographer or just an everyday smartphone photographer. Our lives are filled with capturing an unthinkable amount of moments every year! However, have you ever asked yourself why? Why do we press that shutter button? Why do we capture that pretty sunset?

In this quick blog post, we are going to answer the question: what is the purpose of a photo, and how it can be a powerful method of communication

Let's explore "photography theory." This is the understanding of the true purpose of taking photographs. Photography theory rarely gets discussed and most don't even acknowledge it. 

Because of the lack of useful resources, I had to learn this mostly on my own and that is why I wrote this article to help give you an understanding of why we take pictures. You reading this article shows that you care about capturing meaningful photographs.

What is the point?

Are you wondering why it even matters to understand the anatomy and purpose of photography? Put briefly, it is because we have a tendency to default to modified replication instead of actually creating something truly original, authentic, and meaningful. 

Being able to understand the purpose, provides you the ability to take advantage of that power within the medium to make an impactful photograph! Pretty cool, right? Knowing the purpose of photography gives you freedom with no limits on what is possible, letting you be inspired by anything that you choose to photograph!

When most artists mention the value of photography, they usually bring up something related to telling a story, preserving history, or emotional expression. I completely agree, but what upsets me, is that there is basically little to no understanding of what that means.

Photography Is A Communication media Of Capturing Light That Comes From Two Greek Words That Translate To "Painting With Light." 

Knowing that photography is about painting with light, how do we make use of that? Essentially, light contains the power to make us see what we might not be able to. We can use that to document it as a part of life to become history, which all mixes together to form this form of energy that cannot be described.

“The power of light is a potent energy that is hidden within to convey an important message.”

The above quote is my definition of whenever the term "powerful" is added as a prefix to any image. You may use a different word, but it's important that it has the same meaning. This "energy" is of many things. It includes the expression, the story, the emotion, and ultimately what your original intention was when taking your photo. It exists because of YOU as the photographer, painting with light, to express your visual message with meaning!

Essentially, photography is very personal, as it is all about bridging humanity (who we all are as people, including you and I) and light (creative communication) together to create an energy that ultimately you define. 

What is your artistic philosophy?

Create a philosophy for your work and you will find purpose in your photography! Understanding this will make your photos beyond social media worthy. Your photos will contain special, impactful, and influential value!

When you begin to look at photography from this perspective, you realize what importance this art form has and the opportunities that you can do with it.


Gabriel Dupon