Why Impressionist Photography
"It is through the magic of photography that light becomes
the subject matter with colours, forms, space, and time
relationships that express my deepest feelings and beliefs."
I still vividly remember how I felt when I was first introduced to impressionist photography. It is a style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve an accurate representation and, as a traditional photographer, at first I found that a really difficult concept to grasp. I was attending a workshop called The Art of Impressionist Photography where I saw images stripped of all unnecessary detail. The dreamy, painterly effect that was produced fascinated and excited me and I found the images extremely evocative.
Although I was enchanted by those images, I had a very difficult time creating them for myself. After the first day in class, our teacher gave us an assignment to go and try some of the new techniques we had just learned. I was walking around, frustrated, not really knowing what to do. I couldn't decide what to photograph or how to photograph it. I also couldn't quite believe that I needed only my camera to start making my new "masterpieces". Because I had to present 5 images for a review in the class by the next morning, I decided to forget all of the concepts and rules of traditional photography (at least for that afternoon) and gave myself permission to experiment.
That was the most liberating experience of my life. Suddenly there were no rules to obey, no mistakes, no failures, only new possibilities and new discoveries.
With this newly gained freedom of expression, I enjoyed shooting photographs more than I ever had before and arrived home excited by the discoveries I had made.
That evening in front of the computer, as I was reviewing my photographs, I realized that I had not only discovered new ways of making photographs, but also for the first time I was able to express myself through photography. This was it. This was what I wanted to be doing.