Making Pictures with John Enman: Variety makes photography more interesting

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

I have never been one of those photographers that proudly declare themselves limited to one kind of subject. My visual interests depend a lot on what is happening when I have a camera in my hand, and when on vacation I never limit myself to one subject.

The past two articles I wrote were about my photographic experiences while on a three-day weekend in Anacortes, Washington, with my friends Dave and Cynthia Monsees.

If I didn’t have a camera my goal would simply have been to attend the annual Shipwreck Festival, but I do, and photography is always a major part of any vacation for me. When I plan my getaways I look for a variety in the subjects I photograph. This trip was easy, I began by photographing the festival committee volunteers the first afternoon, then spent most of the second day photographing the festival, and on the third day we photographed the scenic coast from dawn to dusk.

The Rotary volunteers were waiting to meet me and were all looking forward to being photographed. The Festival photography was, well…, it was a festival. And photographing a coastal landscape is pretty easy when one is on an island.

I am not sure if Dave and Cynthia were aware that I’d be constantly dragging them from location to location for three days, but there were so many places that after three years away I wanted to return to, and I was determined they should see and photograph as much of Washington state’s Fidalgo Island as possible.

Someone, a long time ago said, “variety is the spice of life”.

I have always liked that old saying that reminds me to try different things, and change my approach especially in photography. Variety, when it came to the subjects I photograph, has kept my life with a camera interesting.

My dictionary defines “perspective” as; outlook, point of view, attitude, frame of mind and reference, approach and interpretation. Unlike many other creative mediums photography not only allows, but encourages one to change their perspective and interpretation of reality.

That change might be as simple as removing the 28mm lens and replacing it with a 105mm. (or changing the focal length on that zoom lens from 28mm to 105mm).

Anyone watching the three of us standing on a rocky beach waiting for the light to photograph the famous Washington park leaning tree would immediately be aware of how, although we were all photographing the same subject, our approach, perspective and interpretation were very different. Not only on where our tripods were positioned, but also with our selection of lenses. And going back to the word “variety”, well that’s easy, as soon as the tide came in and it got too dark for the tree, we drove to the other side of town to photograph Tesoro Refinery’s bright lights shimmering on the dark ocean waters across the bay.

As I wrote in the beginning, “my visual interests depend a lot on what is happening when I have a camera in my hand, and when on vacation I never limit myself to one subject.”

These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at: or, and stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops.

I sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment. Don’t hesitate to call me at 250-371-3069.