Definition of IMAGE (per Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary)
*The optical counterpart of an object produced by an optical device (as a lens or mirror) or an electronic device
*An act or instance of capturing: as*An act of catching, winning, or gaining control by force, stratagem, or guile
*The act of recording in a permanent file <data capture>
Definition of REPRESENT
*To bring clearly before the mind
Now that we’ve had our lesson for the day on definitions – let’s talk about image – your image. Photographers usually have “capture” in their repertoire of descriptive words for what they do. “I capture the moment of the day” or “I capture your image beautifully” etc, etc. But when we really look at a good photographer compared to a Great photographer – the definition of their work is very different. We are all photographers if we have ever taken a picture. All of us can point the camera in the general direction of someone and take a photo of what they look like or what they are doing at that very moment in time. They’ve captured the moment – just like they meant to and it is wonderful! They post it to Facebook or Instagram – and bam! The world see’s it and likes it!
To capture and image literally means to take the likeness of something hostage. Yes – that is the extreme definition but it fits. Most of us really only know how to hone in on that one second in time. We may even take 20 pictures in a row hoping to keep those memories preserved forever. But most of the time we can’t quite get it all to flow. It is so very difficult to capture something and at the same time show the freedom of the moment. For example – you see a photo of a bride holding her flowers – very still – posing. Her image is captured – that’s all it can do. It doesn’t convey anything about the day except that she is beautiful and can smile and hold flowers. Then you have the image of her throwing her flowers, laughing in that moment because in the background the women are diving for the prize. You see the movement, the happiness – for that minute you are there! The colors are right, the focus is one that you would have if you were there and every detail that means anything is in that image. It is a true representation of the moment.
Most captured images will not make your heart melt or move you to tears. They will be something that you can look at and remember but if you weren’t there they won’t mean near as much. A truly great and creative photographer or even a videographer sees the bigger picture. They want others to be able to put themselves there, in the day or in the moment with the subject. It doesn’t have to be a wedding – it can be anything – your place of work, a birthday, senior photos -they work their tales off to be sure that others can be there even when they weren’t there. They pour over the details, want the to be lighting perfect, the color true to the day. If there is a wisp of hair that falls gently on the face of your child in the wind – they leave it in the picture because it meant something at that moment. The videographer won’t just point and shoot – the great ones will run to the next piece of “life” that is happening so that they can represent the day as it happened – not just as they saw it.
In a world of instant pictures and video it is easy to lose what great photography or cinematography should be. Any one can capture and image – the great ones can set those images free.