Photography Projects: A Focused Vision

When we all started out in photography we had something that lit the spark, some picture we took or some special interest that we knew would be part of our guiding light in the craft. Or we saw the work of another photographer, a mentor if you will, that we immediately connected to and saw in their work a path into our own inner vision. Our aim here at the magazine, along with how-tos and reviews, is to present the work of a wide diversity of photographers who have gotten involved on an intense level with one topic, one locale, or one point of view and created a body of work that speaks to their own inner vision. It can be a project or a life’s work, but in each case we understand and appreciate the tremendous amount of focus and energy it involves.

Our reportage on these photographers has covered specialists in one area of the craft, such as those working with specific tools and techniques like infrared-converted cameras, macro imaging, and, in this issue, astronomical instruments. We’ve also featured the work of photographers who have decided to cover a locale and its history and how it might change, such as our story this month on a photographer documenting an area close to her home. I always remember Walker Evans’s admonition that when you make images make them as if they are part of history as that may be the only remains of what once had been. And we also enjoy showing the work of photographers who have dedicated their time and energy to specific projects that are meaningful to them, such as our story this month on the creation of a book dedicated to our brave first responders.

We have a number of consistent “headers” for these types of articles, including “Personal Project” and “Locations,” as well as a wide range of how-to pieces in which we have photographers with a particular skill set share their approach, tools, and techniques. We also enjoy featuring book excerpts that we glean from the many handsome volumes that come across our desks. A book can take a year or years, not just in the copy and layout and picture selection, but also in the development of skill over a long time or a lifetime that allows it to happen. Our aim in all this is to both share and highlight this work and its creators and to hopefully serve as an inspiration for you to find those focused projects that will illuminate your work and how you see the world. And, these stories come from somewhere, mostly from photographers who contact us and get us as excited about their work as they are, so as always we invite you to do the same.

And, as this issue is our first of the new year, I’d like to personally thank you for your continuing support of our efforts here at Shutterbug. The entire staff and I wish all of you the best in the coming year.