Looking At The World Through A Photographer's Eye

A colony of penguins in their natural habitat

Photography takes a whole lot of work. It isn't just getting a camera and taking a shot because it might look pretty or wonderful. Photography requires patience, a scrutinizing eye, and a commitment to finish the image all the way through. 

Nicki Geigert showcases this dedication and talent through her images of wildlife and nature in photographs and books

In a wide assortment of photographs of wild orchids, alluring flowers, spring vegetation, and wild animals in their natural habitats, Geigert reveals the world through her eyes to people. 

How a Photographer Sees the World

A photograph, they say, conveys a thousand words—but who writes those words? 

Who sets the angle and takes the shot?

Photography draws people in, pulling at emotions stirring because of the visuals. People are visual creatures; the eyes are the primary way people make sense of the world. So, it's not a stretch to claim that photography changed the course of world history when it was first invented in 1822 by a Frenchman, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce when he discovered heliography. The technique created the oldest surviving photograph, Vue Depuis La Fenêtre du Gras (View From The Window at Le Gras), in 1827.

Photographers view life differently, literally. Their eyes capture details unnoticed by the average person, and they perceive colors according to proper or compelling composition. Every moment becomes an opportunity for a photograph in their mind's eye. 

In travels, whether domestic or abroad, photographers are sometimes always the first to stop for a moment, discovering captivating angles that others would never think about taking. Walking through parks or tourist attractions, you'll see photographers making awkward poses, lying on the ground, or standing quite still. They make out patterns, formations, framings, and arrangements at museums or restaurants. Photographers see beyond what others see as everyday sights, finding emotion, color, contrast, and more. They perceive the world literally and abstractly, colorfully and monochromatically.

Photography is an art; it is a way of looking at the world and determining which frames of perception can best capture a moment worth keeping forever.

What Makes a Good Photograph

A good photograph doesn't emerge from a single click. A lot goes into taking an image that captures the memory of the moment, and a critical element, the basis for photography, is lighting.

Lighting makes a picture quite literally, but in this sense: lighting is what colors the image. Light is to photography what a brush is to painting. Photographers then attempt to manipulate light— using shade, artificial light, shifting angles, etc.— to provide the best contrast, hues, and shadows and to make the colors "pop" out or fade.

Related to lighting is color. Many people might have heard of the color wheel, but few use it. Photographers, on the other hand, rely heavily on the color wheel and other theories on color to dictate how much saturation there should be, what the mood is and which assets should be contrasted to bring out the best composition.

Another element often overlooked is how lines add to the image. Humans are pattern-seeking creatures, so the geometry and how shapes are arranged, angled, and positioned in an image, contribute significantly to the composition. Lines are essential to take note of because they hold the eye's attention and direct it toward the focus of the image.

Pattern helps compose a photograph— the repetition of colors, shapes, and objects--all add to the composition by offering regularity and rhythm to an otherwise flat image. Patterns draw the viewer into the photograph, providing interest.

Lastly, an element that people wouldn't think about is texture. Texture, in this case, is not the feel and consistency of the physical image but the details. By capturing the contours, the colors, the layers, etc., the composition is elevated, becoming more life-like.

Why Photography is A Form of Art

Many people think photography isn't good art because it only takes a camera and the right scene to make a photograph--but that is a simplistic, reductionist view; it would be like saying painting needs a canvas and the right brush stroke. 

Like all art forms, photography conveys emotion; capturing an image involves technique, dedication, and creativity.

Photography is an art because it tells a story like all good art.