sensing what is possible

May 06, 2010  in  About my art       Related posts:  

So much of macro photography is not capturing what your eyes see, but what your gut tells you should be there. When the slightest move can cause an earthquake in the viewfinder, you cannot always rely on your eyes or your tools. You often need to just hold your breath, let go, and trust your hand to guide you to the image.

Abstraction of a fallen leaf by Daniel Sroka

This abstraction of a fallen leaf is very different from what I thought it would be.

When I photograph the very small details of nature, what you see is not always what you get. The process of capturing the image changes it, an alchemical transformation from a three-dimensional interaction of stuff and light to a playful representation of texture, tone, and color. It’s a delicate thing, this image. I know that my window for capturing it is fleeting, and its chance for survival is small. Even the most gentle footfall or breath of air can prevent you from achieving the image you know, you hope, is there. Even the act of focusing dramatically alter the reality you see through the lens, bending both light and space.

I find photography to be more about feeling what is possible, then seeing what actually is. What my eyes are looking at through the camera is real, but what I actually see is more built from illusion and tricks of the light. Creating an image at this scale reveals the mechanical limits of your tools, betrays the slightest tremble of your hand, and often requires you to fly blind without any instruments to guide you. It becomes more about faith than technology or technique.