Spencer Dykstra Photography | Subject Subjective

Subject Subjective

January 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

January 23, 2016




Photography is about conveying a message from the creator to the viewer. In my work, I generally attempt to convey my feeling about the subject I am photographing. For example; I love native flowers, so as a result of this love, I seek to display the best possible presentation of said flower such that others may share my enthusiasm.


Rare GraceRare GraceGraceful curves, delicate colors and textures display the natural beauty of this lily.


The subject in this case is without a doubt the color, texture and natural beauty of this rare lily. The subject is not subtle in any way. This is a very common way to convey a message. This image is in your face and shouting. I love this kind of image, because it allows me to know exactly what the creator was thinking and feeling about the subject. However there is another type of image that is much less overt. A subjective image, one in which requires contemplation and discussion. It challenges the viewer to have a conversation about what the image means, what the subject is, and why was it created. As an artist these types of images are the most satisfying, but carry the most risk.


Winter ColorWinter ColorThe delicate colors of winter at Mono Lake.


In the example above, the subject is not immediately available. Is it the Tufa? Or maybe it is the lake... It could even be about the contrast between basin and range. One needs guidance in situations like these, which is where the conversation, either internally or with others, about the meaning of the image plays a key role. A hint is available in the form of the image title. This image is titled  "Winter Color" and that points the viewer to the subject. This image is about the play of colors across the frame.

I took a risk creating this image, and I am unsure as to the success of my work. Images like these reveal my personal bias; I love this image because I know what it means. I can only hope that any viewer will understand and appreciate the scene as well.


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