Monday, April 28, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

My intent is to explore what makes some rail photographs excellent or notable, by discussing individual shots and by comparing sets of shots. At times I will feature shots by one particular photographer of interest, at times I will feature shots of a particular type of subject or in a particular style, and at times I will focus on the results of a particular technique. The view will always be that of the "consumer" of images; I will not be offering advice on technique. I intend to be a hobbyist commentator on photographs and I am starting this blog to find my "voice."

My formal qualifications are minimal. I am a competent photographer who has moved beyond the wedgie to somewhat more creative compositions but who has no particular notable successes, although I have several shots I am particularly pleased with. This leads to one particular complaint that some make of critics, both professional and amateur; that they don't know enough to express a relevant opinion. However, much as a restaurant critic need not and almost always is not a professional chef, and a political commentator is often not a politician, so I am not an expert photographer. I believe that my views stand by themselves; either they make sense, they are effective commentaries on the images, or they are not. Take a read and decide for yourself.

In discussing the images I will rely on basic concepts of composition: line, form, texture, color, and of course light. As I am not trained in art, I may occasionally deviate from how artists use these terms, but I believe what I write will be self-explanatory. If not, I will edit and fix it!

Toward that end, critical yet informative comments are most welcome. I will be thrilled to get a pointed criticism. As I intend that each blog entry be a permanent expression of views on an image, I will be revising them or supplementing them in response to any comments received. Thus, this blog will be more like a set of entries than a continuous conversation, at least in format.

By the way, all images used with permission of the individual photographer. A number of images will be taken from; in those cases for convenience I will leave the RP copyright strip at the bottom, as that indicates ownership of the image lies with the photographer.

Click here to see my shots on RP.

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