pho•tog'ra•pher (n). 1. To practice photography. 2. The art or process of producing photographs. 3. The art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs.
What is photography?
One place to look is in a dictionary. The online version of the Oxford English Dictionary describes photography as ‘the art or practice of taking and processing photographs’.
Merriam-Webster is a little more specific: ‘the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor)’.
Encyclopedia.com describes it as: ‘Photographers combine artistic talent and technical skill to produce professional photographs. To use their tools—cameras, lenses, and lights—they must be highly skilled technicians. To create meaningful photographs, they must be able to arrange whatever they are photographing so that it will stand out clearly in the finished picture. Photographers work at many different kinds of jobs. One photographer might make a career of taking pictures at weddings. Another might work in a laboratory taking scientific pictures through a microscope’.
What these definitions lack is an insight into the art and soul of photography.
So, "What does photography means to me?"
It means helping people see the world around them in a different way. Sometimes its the shear beauty of a landscape, sometimes its the decay that stalks us all. Other times its a different angle or it can be close-up of something rarely seen. And doing it in a way that is not offensive but enlightening and hopefully; breathtaking.
A snapshot shows a moment in time, a good photograph tells a story, a great photograph captures your imagination.