Two People: The Photographer and the Viewer

“To the complaint,
‘There are no people in these photographs,’
I respond,
There are always two people:
the photographer and the viewer.”
Ansel Adams

Indeed, let me consider us….. in terms of photographer and viewer.  I am present in my photographs. Behind the lens of the camera with a Mind’s Eye that contains everything I have encountered so far.  I choose what to show you, holding  sway over what the narrative is. Does/can objectivity ever rule my choice? Rule the lens?  And you who view my photos, and perhaps share your own with me …well here you are with all your  perceptions experience, knowledge, beliefs, values, and interests. So what do you see?

When I began my website, I began to take photos with much more of an eye for telling a broader story with the photos, aware that the photos on  JoHannaMassey.com would be viewed in the public. I often make links to websites so viewers can go further in knowledge.  As a viewer, I am  just thrilled with the quality of photos I view on your websites. Enjoy so much the opportunity to know globally…. individuals, places, lifestyles, and events, often told through photographs. Has your Lens Eye changed since having a website with photos? Any thoughts you would share on Ansel Adam’s idea of  Two People: The Viewer and the Photographer.

Wishing everyone the best and highest for this brand new gift of a morning.

If you want to see more photos of Amalfi and Pontone you can stroll along with me in Thou Paradise of Exiles: Italy.

In response to Cheri Lucas Rowlands Friday choice this of Landscape at   WordPress Weekly Photo Theme: Landscape. 

Today’s Music: Babbo Non Vuole (Orietta Berti)

48 thoughts on “Two People: The Photographer and the Viewer

  1. Blogging and taking photos for my blog as well as reading the blogs of others has helped me to see the world in a new way. I slow down more and pay more attention to detail and context now. Though I only have an ordinary inexpensive camera, I love to take it with me whenever I go out. You just never know what you might stumble upon… though my children get a bit fed up of me stopping every couple of minutes to take a picture 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, when the children are middle age they will love the fact you took so many photos. I get ‘special requests’ from family all the time for photos taken many years ago at events I can not even remember, and I scramble to find the witnessing photos.
      I’m making a very real effort to incorporate my camera into my day now, mainly because when I returned last year to the area I live in so many of the wild areas had been tamed. The Verde Valley is building out so quickly and I have it in my mind to photograph the remaining spaces before they dramatically change.
      You are so right about never knowing what will be stumbled upon, and it is usually those times when I do not have the camera!
      All my best to you Kim, and have a peace filled week. XOX

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, at least with a small camera I can always slip it easily into my bag or pocket whenever I go out. You are right, places change so quickly, we’ll be glad we took record later. Warm wishes for the week to you too Johanna xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post… I think that the photographer might create Reality somehow as he takes a photograph… I think Adam´s ideas are very interesting… There is probably a sort of
    synergy, a dynamic synthesis resulting from the interaction between active subject and passive object/subject…
    Sending love and best wishes, dear Johanna. Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you articulate it so well. That pause just before the click of the camera shutter is such a true and connected moment for me.
      You always add substance and an interesting perspective during your visits.

      Your latest creative gem on the Muses (https://aquileana.wordpress.com/) stays with me and
      I keep dropping back to reread a detail, or pause and linger over the artwork.
      Thank you. XOX

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some good insights, JoHanna. I have always seen myself behind the lens in each image I capture, but of course, there is the viewer, too.
     
    I often find that looking at an image reminds me of a story or adventure of my own in a similar or possibly identical environment. And so it is interesting to hear someone else’s story at the same place. Kind of enriching all around.
     
    And what do I see here? This appears like a pleasant vacation moment in a faraway place. So it speaks of both moments of relaxation as well as inspiration, such as visiting a different environment other than one’s own, is apt to do. And at the same time it is also refreshing with all that green foliage speaking of hope and a new season. A place I could easily imagine visiting one day.
     
    Having said that, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a Sunday morning and there were church bells from St Andrews Cathedral ringing up from the valley below. The smell of lemons filled every breath.

      I was a Wilderness Guide for some years in Southwest, and observed first hand what others found interesting to photograph about areas I was familiar with and they were seeing for the first and probably only time. I was always fascinated by how varied the focus of the camera lens could be depending on the person taking the photo. And the joy when someone would show me, with their new fresh eyes and perspective something new I had passed unnoticed many times.

      Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      Like

    1. Yes, so do I..especially when the photos are from a very different culture or place that is not a ‘destination.’
      Thank you for contributing to the discussion. Have a peace filled week. 🌵

      Like

  4. Hi Johanna,

    I love what you wrote and the music video. What you said there, it is a real artist. You just don’t look of what is in front of you but visualizing and even ahead of that. It is great having artists like you. Keep it up with the amazing work!

    Zaria

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You make a great point. Most of my photos are of the outside world – whatever I see that looks interesting. I’m not one to pose or have whoever I’m with to pose for my photos, like many tourists do. I do have shots like that, but not many. Next time someone comments that I’m not in the picture, I can quote Ansel Adams, one of the best and most famous photographers of all time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I am very similar in that I just go for interesting. There is so much to catch the eye and for so many reasons.

      When I was a Wilderness Guide I learned so much about people and cultures by what they chose to photograph.
      It went the full range of interests. Serious photographers who simply wanted me to pack them out into nature, and leave them to their cameras. Before the time of ‘selfies’ often people hand me their cameras and had me shoot their ‘We Were Here’ photos, without a glance at ‘Here’, wanting only to move to ‘There’ for their next picture of them.

      I also learned a lot from observing travelers taking photos.
      Thank you for visiting and contributing to the discussion. 🐞

      Like

  6. I like the photography of Ansel Adams, along with the quote. Photos, as any form of art, is like the old expression, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The one taking pictures may develop a style which everyone recognizes and admires: or not! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, will check this out! Have a great day! 🙂
        Vivian Maiars box of photos of people and street scenes made it onto CBS Sunday Morning and I was so impressed with the woman’s great vision and “eye” for a good photo shot. Thank you for this great link. 🙂

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