Logo   The Tao of Digital Photography
Photography: proof of witness to the visual paradise in which we live, amidst a limitless number of captivating images silently awaiting discovery and acknowledgement.




Don't touch your camera. Just look.

Train your eye. Your eye is key. Don't touch your camera. It's a distraction. Just look.

Find beauty. It's not hidden. It's easy to see, but only if you educate your eye, and look. Don't touch your camera.

Find something? Look closely. More closely. Look long. Is it natural, not artificial? Feel emotion? Then it's worthy, even if grotesque.

Look not for "photographs," but for evidence of the wonderful.

Look to see what is plainly there but so far unnoticed.

Evidence of the wonderful: train your eye, and you'll wonder why you never noticed it before. It's all around you, all the time. The world is wonderful. Only a few of the most sterile, uninspired human-built environments lack visual interest and beauty. It may not be as easy to see there, it may not be as emotionally satisfying, but if you can't see it, train your eye.

Your eye finds the image. Your camera just records it to share.

Compose the image: what is its story? Look closely. Is more more, or is less more? Tell the image's story to yourself in words. It's hard! Do it. Then edit, and compose the image.

Evidence of the wonderful can be ephemeral, a grab shot. Grab your camera, try to catch it, but don't fret if you miss. You saw it, you were fortunate to see it. Remember it. You will see more.

Balance and harmony are to an image what le mot juste is to text: eloquence. An "unedited" image is not "more real," just less well appreciated. Just a snapshot. Just careless. Maybe even thoughtless, disrespectful.

Once you've found the image, let it be. It doesn't need you. It doesn't want your fingerprints on it. It needs little or no make-up. It takes no embellishment kindly. White balance, a little dodge or burn, a little skew or unsharp mask might not hurt, but take care: the image is truth itself. Truth is its strength, subtlety its patina, integrity its poetry. Correct your mistakes, but honor its truth. Willful manipulation destroys its integrity, makes it a travesty.

The more you intrude yourself on an image through technique, the more it becomes you and not itself. By making it you, you expose yourself. Are you ready for that? Are you good enough? Do your efforts improve, or degrade? Is your vision better art, a higher truth? Are you sure? Do you take responsibility?

The point of seeing is discovery, appreciation, fulfillment. For this you need no camera.

Corn stalks, Concord MA

The point of photography is not to make pictures—you have already seen the picture, the wonder—the point of photography is to share with others the wonder that you have discovered so that they may also appreciate, rejoice, and be fulfilled.

Tom Brosnahan

Tom Brosnahan, Photographer

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Dawn Flags, Cadillac Mountain, Maine

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