Hi, my name is Rob, and this is my blog. It’s about finding the balance between the technical and artistic aspects of photography. I love photography for many reasons, but one of the most important is the way creating good images with a camera requires thinking traditionally associated with both the right brain (creativity, art, philosophy) and the left brain (analysis, technical prowess, gear). While I realize that scientists long ago debunked the theory that our brains are split this way, it’s still a fun and handy way to classify the creative and analytical sides of ourselves. In this blog I’ll be just as likely to talk about the philosophy of photography and how it relates to the human condition as I am to discuss f-stops and lighting ratios. I’ll try to remember to warn you beforehand if I’m about to get overly artsy-fartsy or dork out on technical issues.
I decided use the name “Behind the Eye” for two reasons. First, it refers to what’s behind the eye: the brain. Ansel Adams once said, “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” There have been numerous times that people have looked at my photos and said, “Wow, you must have a great camera.” I know of course, that they don’t mean that as an insult, but having a great camera doesn’t guarantee you great pictures, any more than putting me in the best, high-tech kitchen would guarantee that what I cook you won’t make you vomit, and I’d like to think that I can take some of the credit if somebody likes one of my photos. If you were to hand the world’s fanciest camera to a novice, and give a crappy camera to a great photographer, I know who I’m betting on to get better results. I love photography gear, but they’re just tools. It’s the mind that matters here, and so this blog is going to be about what goes in my mine.
The second reason focuses on the word, “behind.” Some say that a photo should speak for itself, and while I’d agree that it should always be immediately clear WHY a photo was taken, if I see a great shot I nearly always want to know how, where, and when was it taken, and often a bit more about who or what is the focus of the shot. In other words, I want to know what goes on behind the scenes. Even moving pictures need words from time to time, so I think it’s all right for stills to do the same. I often add extensive captions to the photos on my portfolio website that give technical details and tell the stories behind the images, but I know that the format of my portfolio site really isn’t conducive to reading a lot of text, so this blog allows me a chance to allow anyone who’s interested to learn along with me. While a good picture may paint a thousand words, sometimes you need a few more to really tell the whole story.
P.S. In my posts you’ll periodically see little brain icons. To find out what they mean, just click on it or check out this explanation.