You seldom have to look far to find someone with a camera taking a picture. With the advent of the cell phone, almost everyone has access to a quality camera and the ability to capture beautiful and moving images. The problem with this avalanche of pixels is that the process of photography and the art of composing a work of art takes a back seat to the excess of capturing thousands of images and having access to an almost unlimited amount of storage.
If you take a moment to watch any of the myriad of people who are out there taking pictures you will discover that they give scant consideration to the basic elements of photography. They allow the device to make the critical decisions regarding exposure and they rely on software to make their images presentable or interesting.
For some of us, the process of creating an image is part of the artistic process. For me, this process eschews permitting a computer to make any of the decisions. My Analog Approach involves a 40 year old view camera and a backpack full of film cassettes. It involves prolonged periods of observation that consider the depths of shadows and the intensity of highlights and translating these observations into a judgement reflecting the capability of the film at hand. There are no batteries and the lenses are quality optics that favors craftsmanship over electronic engineering.
Recently, I was struck by a quote in the National Geographic book of Stunning Photographs attributed to Dorothea Lange. She said "There is a province in which the photograph tells us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, but there is another in which it proves how little our eyes permit us to see." I believe I have always approached my photography from a similar perspective. I try to see the things that are overlooked by those who don't take time to really appreciate what they are seeing. This often means a different perspective or moving closer to a subject. Sometimes the alignment or placement of objects creates a statement or suggests something that is overlooked by most.
Color was the first thing that attracted me to digital image making. Capturing the striking variety and depth of color in nature is frequently awe inspiring. The colors of the leaves in the fall or the feathers on a duck's head rival the wildest hallucinations. Not that I have experienced an hallucination. But, now color has taken a back seat to the subtleties of contrast and capturing details and images in a limited number of shades of gray.