Why: An Artistic Photograph is not About the Subject or the Scene - 2

This artistic photograph in black and white is not about the tree. The consequences of the interpretation of this photo is the ultimate goal of this creation.
This artistic photograph in black and white is not about the tree. The consequences of the interpretation of this photo is the ultimate goal of this creation.

The Grass is not Always Greener in the Neighbor

Many photographers think that the grass is greener in the neighbor. These people decide to go for inspiration thousands of kilometers from their region, saying that the photographic subjects are so extraordinary that the photographs will speak for themselves.

Two mistakes are made.

The first mistake is that you do not have to pick a place because there is such and such a subject or scene. It must be chosen because it corresponds to the emotions and messages to be transmitted.

The second mistake is that often the subjects are close to home. When we say proximity, we hear a few kilometers or a few hundred kilometers. It is not necessary to fly.

Why do many photographers look for subjects so far? Many answers are possible. One of them is that these photographers need to show others that they are making exceptional journeys. Showing exotic destinations is a way to ensure social status by saying "   I can afford this trip and not you   ". This attitude is not that of an artist photographer worthy of the name.

An artist photographer does not care to be the one who has more than the others. The important thing when developing an artistic sensibility is to show what you have in you, your emotions and your feelings.

Often during our nature photography workshops, we explain to the trainees that the most important thing is to look around. The hidden treasures are far more numerous than those found in distant adventures.

Never Just Photograph What You See

The best advice we can give to nature photographers who want to develop an artistic activity is always to go beyond the scene or the subject photographed.

A scene is only a support for transmitting emotions or feelings or for creating a conceptual photo. If you shoot a scene for what it is, you make a descriptive photo that will be used for a news item or sold through a stock. It will also explain to your friends or family, the trip you just made.

To create a good artistic picture, one must already know oneself well. Then you must define what you want to translate in your photo. So, once in the field, you will choose the photographic elements, the framing and the composition to be able to express yourself.

When you are facing a scene, you must immerse yourself and connect with your environment. We often use the phrase " connect with the invisible ". We imply the atmosphere, the atmosphere. You must bathe in the atmosphere around you to soak up sensations, scents, smells, ambient noises. You must not think about the rest of the world. You must focus on all the elements that are in front of you, visible or not. Then you can start triggering your device to create.

This is not an easy practice as it requires a lot of concentration and a particular state of mind. But for us it's the only one that works well.

Chance is Always this Imponderable That Makes the Little More

In a previous paragraph we mentioned the fact that we only photograph well that we know well. It's a proven fact. It is for this reason that for our first trip to a destination is always what we call a recognition.

It is very rare that we manage to create good artistic photographs on a place that we do not know. Yet this happens to us sometimes. This is what we call the luck factor as we wrote in this article.

Luck is indefinable. But one thing is certain. It is by going on the ground that one can provoke it. When it occurs, it is that all the elements of the scene are propitious to realize a good artistic photo. And this without having prepared anything. But it is necessary to master the technique and know immediately what one will do artistically from the scene.

This is where the experience of the photographer comes in and the famous state of mind that we have evoked. When luck smiles, you have to be ready because it does not show up twice.

Helping the Viewer

When an artistic photograph is exhibited in a gallery or at an exhibition, it is not always easy for a viewer to understand or perceive all the emotional nuances put in place by the photographer author. We think it is necessary to help the watch to understand.

It's a little contradictory to the saying that "   a photograph is better than a thousand words   ". But in this case, it is the field of descriptive or illustrative photography.

Indeed, the explicit photography of a scene describing a current event is much more telling than the text that accompanies it.

As artistic photography is not descriptive but more emotional or conceptual, it is interesting to provide some lines of text to explain the context, the atmosphere or the facts that led to the creation of a work.

The explanations will allow viewers to immediately connect to the photographic elements and imagine a story. They will then take ownership of the photographic work.

It is also for this reason that we always display on our site or in exhibitions, our biography. It allows people to better understand our personality and our artistic approach.


To understand that the object of an artistic photograph is not the photographed subject, but the consequences generated is an essential concept to develop an interesting photographic vision. We must always strive to go beyond the scenes of nature.

Nature becomes a source of inspiration. The elements should be used to express the emotions felt.

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