The process of making a photograph involves giving the subject a structure by formulating and most importantly expressing an emotional experience, idea or intent. The process of composition then follows and is driven by the desire to stimulate or provoke the audience to find something more in the resulting image which is at once their own and mine.
Any work of art is necessarily subject to two different aesthetic experiences, one of the Artist, another of the Audience. We can only judge a work of art on the basis of these two aesthetic experiences. For the artist a work earns the title a work of art by producing in the audience the desired aesthetic experience. The artist’s relation to her/his audience is essential to being an artist. As such the artist’s aesthetic experience is a shared experience with the audience as an accepted collaborator.
In contrast! For me photography is a liberating activity or experience and is most often a result of inspiration found in short time frames or moments. This does not mean it is unstructured. It is very difficult to shut off twenty five years of learned experience. Not unlike architecture my photographic inspiration comes primarily from such things as light, colour, texture, pattern, spatial relationships or social situations. In modern digital photography the creative process lends itself nicely to division into field and studio work. My sketch book has morphed into a somewhat static small black box that captures reflected light (my camera). My studio is my computer and Adobe Photoshop allows me the opportunity to shape the final image beyond what was initially collected by my camera’s rather limited sensor.
Having spent my working life as a design and project architect I have developed a very methodical design process which is fairly rigid and technical in nature. It was necessary. Most architectural design choices would have to be explained and or defended to clients and critics.