Thursday, February 17, 2011

Capturing vs. Creating

I've been thinking this morning about the difference, if there is one, between capturing and creating an image. Photography has been on my mind again in recent weeks. Those of you who know me, realize that I flit from interest to interest for varying amounts of time. Some say that this is one of the hazards/blessings of having a creative bent. I'm always getting caught up in the excitement of creating something new. When the excitement wears off, I move on. :) I'm hoping I can concentrate on the photography for a little longer this time - at least long enough to understand the process a bit better. A little bit of discipline goes a long way...

So, here is what was on my mind this morning. I was thinking that the idea of capturing has more to do with recognizing a moment and trying to freeze it, so to speak, within the camera.

Creating seems to have more of a connection with posing, staging, arranging, etc. for me.

Certainly there is overlap when making these distinctions, if they even need to be made. Just because a moment has a creative element involved doesn't make it any less meaningful or important. Sometimes the creative aspect, whether it be arranging the subject or adding some post-production edits, can give the captured moment a little extra emotion, drama, depth, or focus. 

What do you think?

Hope you enjoy the moments I captured of my little ones making their own creations. :) I had fun toying with some new (free!) Aperture presets that I downloaded here. I used "1971 Unforgettable Trip" on the last image. The rest are unedited.


  1. I love watching children create, especially my grandchildren! Thank you for capturing those beautiful images!

  2. A very good question. My granddaughter is a professional fine art photographer who has won awards and graduated with her BFA, Photography, with honors. What I know of the creative element is what she calls the ‘photographer’s vision’. She was with me a great deal when she was very little, grew up in my home more than hers ~ I was an Art Minor at University and so I had her on her tummy with a fat, soft pencil; drawing blades of grass. Teaching her to ‘see’. She seems to ‘see’ differently than most people and that shows in her work. Even the weddings she shoots (fine art photographers can not live on fine art alone ~ there has to be some commercial work to buy that new lens!) have a fine art quality. She took a series of Engagement photos that looked very similar to the old Butch Cassidy/Sundance movie (in b/w). I have her url on my blog, if you’d like to go look. She’s also on FB under RebekahjunePhotography. Her photos always have a slightly different perspective; her major work for her BFA was all soft focus. She puts a great deal of time into the editing. The photos I love the most are those she took with her old SlR and developed herself in the darkroom in BW (she also did a lot of darkroom color work) that are striking.
    While it is true some photography catches a moment in time ~ a drawing can do the same. In college, I had an assignment of taking an old photo and then drawing what happened after the photo was taken. In my photo, I was about 3 and I was standing by my grandfather at his farm. I was all dolled up (city kid), and gradpa had on his bib overalls (he was in his 50’s) and had just come down from the barn. My drawing was of the ‘moment’ after when we turned and walked back up the hill, passed the Corn crib, and to the big barn. A little girl and her grandpa from the old country, strolling hand in hand up the hill. When I drew it, I felt like I could smell the smells of that day under the hot Iowa sun.
    The process you are trying to understand, is it the creative process or the technical? When I had photography from the same Professor as my grand daughter later did, he was expecting me to bring in photographs of flowers and grandchildren. But I have a lot of inner dialog and my photographs were very introspective. Some were set up and some were in the moment; but, they could all be ‘read’ in different ways.
    It wasn’t what he expected and I was surprised too, at the depth of the work. I was not talented in the darkroom and lay no claim whatsoever at being a photographer (being able to point and shoot picture is not the same as being a photographer). Yes, a very good question indeed. I hope you share, later, what conclusions you have drawn. Happy Snapping bj

    PS I love how you explain about hopping from ‘thing to thing’ My Mom always said, “You don’t have any stick to iveness” I never saw it as a ‘good’ thing. I like your explanation better; gives me some solace. The ONE thing I’ve stuck with is tatting...and I’ll never give that up! Because one never truly ‘arrives’. LOL