Over the years I have heard literally thousands of people refer to "The Photographers Eye" refering to a photographers ability to see and create unique images. I do agree that the photographers individual vision is very relevant to the the images that they take, but there are other things that work along with that.
I think of even more importance to the photographers ability to create images with a unique perspective and style is their heart. The photographers personal feelings, their loves, like and dislikes are going to influence their decisions of what to shoot and what not to shoot moreso then their 'eye' is going to. While their eye will be doing the looking and focusing, it will be their heart guiding where it looks and how it perceives the reality it is taking in.
For a photographer to be a success they have to know themselves well. There has to be a yearning to create a particular look or feel in their images. This yearning will come from the individual photographers likes, dislikes, interests and loves. The things that the individual photographer feels passionate about will always bring about the best images. When creating a photograph it is just as important to pay attention to how you are shooting as to what you are shooting. The composition along with the style and technique will reveal quite a bit about the photographer and how they are feeling.
Photographers can also draw on the love of a spouse, family and friends to give them the passion they need to create some truly great images. This love can give a photographer a base on which to build a satisfying hobby or career but that can end in a flash. If the photographer loses that love from their life, they can also lose their passion and their direction. If that love goes away, the photographer can lose their vision (and sometimes their drive) and it can be very hard to get back.
But, a photographer can just as well draw from the pain of anger, hatred, fright, paranoia, or any number of emotions. Each of these feelings can fuel the creative process and give the photographer the spark that they need to create something special or unique. Drawing on feelings that move you as a person will always give you better images.
The objective of a good photograph is to get the viewer to feel what the photographer felt. To evoke an emotion, to raise a question, or just to stimulate the viewers senses. If the photographer allows themselves to draw on their inner spark they will always create better images. But, when they lose that spark, for whatever reason, it will always affect their photographs.
Getting your spark back when you have lost it isn't easy to do. When someone loses their spark, it is a simple thing to tell them to just 'get back on the horse' and start shooting but that is easier said than done. Yes, a photographer can get out and create some images but the problem is that they wont reflect the photographer, they will just be created by rote and will lack the spark and won't have the look or the style of the photographers previous work.
Yes, the photographers 'eye' is important, but so is their spark. The one won't work without the other.
Victor H. Schlosser is a photographer, writer, and Web Site Designer/Consultant. He writes about Photography, Marketing, and the Internet, with articles being published both online and in print.
This report © Copyright 2005, Victor H. Schlosser - All Rights Reserved
Edit/Update Copyright 2008, Victor H. Schlosser