Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Photography by placing four edges around found objects

I have to admit that almost anything out of place intrigues me.

A crushed pot, or single shoe laying along the road, a bolt or nail talking up space on the sidewalk as I walk to the coffee shop, even an elastic hair band partially hidden in the dirt where I park my car deserves my attention.

No, I am not a collector. Nevertheless strange pieces of metal, rusty pliers, discarded horse shoes, a worn out film projector from the 1960s and even an old window with peeling paint somehow were able to find their way into my garden.

I guess I like the contrasting effect.

Sure there are lots of bushes, flowers, trees and grass growing around my house, but to me it just feels right to stick something on a rock or stump that might seem out of place to most people.

For someone like me that likes to photograph pretty much anything, having random stuff is darn fun.

I try to photograph my garden every season of the year. Rain, snow, wind or hot sun, doesn’t deter me. I just put a macro lens on my camera, grab a flash and start wandering to see what presents itself.

My yard is “budding” everywhere, and I had decided I should wait a bit longer for the growth to get more interesting. Nevertheless, when I went out on my porch to throw a rock at a woodpecker intent on pecking a hole along the edge of my roof, I looked around and decided to get my camera and see what I could find.

If not plants then what? Well, I chose to photograph anything in my yard that wasn’t living. Sure there was a few raindrops, but I had my handkerchief to wipe any accumulated water off my flash and camera. And with no shortage of subjects all I had to do was choose interesting angles for my photographs.

“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.”– Garry Winogrand.

I am sure Gary Winogrand, the famous and influential street photographer, was speaking about highlighting social issues when he said that.

But I like his words and I’ll think of them when I discuss the personal way of seeing one has when photographing a subject close-up. I think many of the images we photographers with our modern data gathering cameras make do in fact “change” when we place four edges around them in post-production.

Photographing the found objects in my yard forces me to look beyond a traditional plant filled spring garden. The subjects I saw were changed by the distance the camera was from them and then again by my final framing.

The growing spring garden will wait a few more days. I am sure I will have a lot more to photograph.

These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. 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.