Defining Photography of Place. These are Kat's definitions and I agree with them. As I read each one I pondered them and thought about how my place, The Leelanau Peninsula related to the definitions.
Even though these definitions are about photography of place, for me it is also about writing of place.
The first type of photography is Travel Photography. Kat writes:
"Most travel photographers take pains to make a place
look inviting, showing the different aspects of a place
to their best effect. Travel photography,
in my mind equals advertising."
I knew right away that this wasn't the type of photography and writing I was doing. While I will gladly share a favorite historic building, hiking trail, restaurant, shop or winery. I don't really care whether people come or not, I would prefer to keep the Peninsula to myself, quiet and uncluttered of people, their cars and their stuff.
The photographs I take are not always going to showcase all the beautiful natural and man made wonders here. The things and places that I photograph are what speaks to my heart.
The second definition of Photography of Place hits closer to truth for me. Documentary Photography:
"Documentary photography strives to show a place
as it is, warts and all. It's about documenting the
place to tell a story. It may involve many
different aspects of capturing a place, or it may
focus on a single topic. The underlying story the
photographer is telling influences the images
which are captured and shared."
When I first read this I thought "Oh this is it, this is what I am doing", but a couple key components were missing. Where was I in the story? The story is about how I connect with the places within the story. Secondly Kat says "the story the photographer is telling influences the images which are captured and shared." I work the opposite way. The images I capture are the ones that give me that fluttery feeling inside. The photographs influence the story.
Finally I read the third definition, the one that is the basis for the class, this one held the most truth for me.
"When I talk about Photography of Place, I am
talking about photography which is the
reflection of me and my experience of the places
I visit. There is no intent other than to capture my
experience of the place, and then invite the viewer
to come along. I see and photograph what interests
me, and I share the results. There is no intent to
sell a place or convince you of a certain point
of view. Through my images, the viewer gets
a sense of both the places I visit and who I am."
This sums up perfectly how I feel. Although Kat talks about visiting many places and her connection with them. My story is about one place and the deep connection I have to it. I would love to take you along to the places I discover, tell you about the things I learn and the people I meet.