The Magic Frame: On Looking. The Artist’s Statement



I read many years back, that it takes years to become a good photographer. I think that I am at the stage where I can call myself a good photographer today. Pardon me for blowing my own horn, but I think that I may be permitted to do so, just the once.

Am I a great photographer? I don’t think so, in all honesty. One of my endeavours is, not only to be a successful photographer, but a great one.

The funny thing about photography, is that no matter how good I may become, I will always want to be better. That’s life. And, I am talking about being a great photographer, and not a great Photoshop Expert.

I make this distinction, because I believe, like many others, that you need to try and get it right in camera.

This further means, that you need to have the ability to see. Photography is such a vast field that you end up specialising in one, a few, genre/s.

These are driven first, by passion, and then by commercial interest. As I have started to make the move towards commercial photography, I look at areas that are aligned to my passions.

When you start photographing, it can be a somewhat aimless activity. So, when I read up about doing photography projects, I thought that this was a good idea.

However, later on, I did a course on portfolio management with a brilliant American photographer called William Neill, he introduced me to the concept of an Artist’s Statement.

When I did my “Abandoned Beauty” series of photographs, it linked back to two parts of my life that are past, and present.

One, is my love for the abstract patterns of nature.

The second, is my past, and love for, corrosion engineering.

Abandoned Beaty is all about the colours of rust on abandoned cars. When I did the shoots, I used normal and macro lens. I shot at various times times of day, in different seasons, and using natural light supplemented by flash, torch and candle light.

The Artist’s Statement gave meaning to the project, and allowed me to see the two cars in a manner that would not have been possible had it not been for the Artist’s Statement.

I can only encourage people to develop their own Artists’s Statements prior to starting out a photography project. They really help the process, and add meaning to the project.

They also definitely help in making you see better.




  1. Thanks for this, Rajiv. I think I usually have one ready when I start a project but I didn’t realise it had a name. A statement does help me to focus and I find that I get the results I’m after. Warm wishes. xo

    1. It actually helps a lot…
      Btw.. I have made a slight change to the photo I put on “My Camera and My Chai”…
      I have added a slight smiley

  2. Your words, which I have changed a bit, as in: ‘SEE/SHOW two OBJECTS in a manner that would not have been possible had it not been for the Artist’s Statement,’ make this matter very clear indeed. Thanks for that.

    As a matter of fact, I did notice the other car, but all my attention had been on the Old one! 🙂

  3. I wouldn’t worry about whether you will be seen as good or great artist. Often recognition for ones work doesn’t come until after we are pushing up daisies. The artist in you is compelled to make a statement in your work. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you at the moment. Whatever you chose as a subject, it is speaking to you and you in turn give voice to it.

  4. I am glad to have read this post.

    Being an avid traveler and photography enthusiast, i need to learn much more than where i am. But i am happy that i am progressing well, based on the feedback from my readers.

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