I used to call them Woodard's philosophies but I repeat them so often that I think I like Woodard's platitudes better.
"Every photograph tells two stories; one about the subject and one about the photographer. Sometimes the story about the photographer is the stronger of the two."
Yesterday there was a very good illustration of that platitude. The NWHPC had a field trip to a junkyard. Lots of photographs were taken. Eleven of the photographers have posted some of their images to various posting sites. I am making the assumption they made more but these were the ones they most related to, enjoyed the most, were willing to share.
Eleven photographers in the same junk yard and almost every photographer's set is distinguishably different from the others. Sure there are a number of very similar images of the more photogenic relics, but even they are approached differently. It is really interesting to see a number of photographers approach the same subject matter under the same conditions and to observe the differences in their work. This is especially true in a situation like the junkyard that presented a wide variety of possible subject matter.
Of course, in a photo club there are varying degrees ot technical skill, but for the most part that is not what distinguishes the photographs for me. What is especially interesting is to look at what each photographer shot that the others did not, their selection of the available subject material, and to speculate why.
Some shot flowers in a junkyard, some shot the contrast between the flowers and the wrecked vehicles. Some did only close-ups, some only long shots, some found organization some found chaos. It is amazing how many subjects showed up in only one set. Some shot other photographers, one shot the personnel, some included no people and there were a couple of ghost like people images. Only one did monochrome conversions.
Each set was very personalized. You have to assume that each set is representative of what that particular photographer saw and found of interest and thus to at least some degree can be taken as a self expression of that particular photographer.
Here is a list of the participating photographers with links to the images: Aaraj Thyagaraj, Alan Wilson, April Ferguson, , Bear Carlson, Darnell Klumpp, Debbie Henderson, Jerry Klumpp, Jerry Pierson, John Edinburgh, Larry Belt, Pam Carlson.
Addendum: Thanks to John Edinburgh for a heads up on my errors on the above links. Also a big apology to April for renaming her at this stage of life. Thanks to John that is also corrected..