After a lifetime of taking photographs, I still believe today as I did 67 years ago when I photographed a building at the British Empire Exhibition in Glasgow that photography is a magical process. And now thanks to digital technology it is more magical than ever. However, like all magic the process is not automatic nor is it easy. Yes, you can point and shoot and come up with acceptable and even good images.

But, fortunately there is a factor that distinguishes one photographer’s images from another’s, that gives the photograph its ‘signature.’ This factor is essentially a way of looking, which, for me at least, is primarily an instinctive physical reaction to the subject/object to be photographed be it a graffiti-sprayed subway car or Andy Warhol on a red sofa in his Silver Factory.

Instinctively doesn’t necessarily mean instant. Sometimes catching the right (decisive) moment to take the picture requires waiting for the confluence of light, shadow, and other elements to coalesce. At other times the picture is just there for the taking. I still like the old term “snapshot.”

You can judge for yourself by looking at the black and white and color photographs in this website to determine to what extent you “get the picture.”

I welcome your feedback.


Jon Naar

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