Art: Personally and Culturally

October 16, 2011
As I hear the lens snap shut, my finger releases from its comfortable perch on the shutter button. I check my viewfinder in hopes of capturing the perfect photo, already searching for tidbits of the picture that could be cropped to create a masterpiece of its own. Following this careful examination I reset back into position, ready for the next set of shots, allowing my mind to view things beyond their whole image, searching for minute details that would otherwise go unnoticed; photography has permitted me to stretch my imagination past physical realms and has caused me to see my world in a different light.

Long before I had ever stepped inside an upper-level art class my father had given me permission to take photographs with his professional camera; for a child with no artistic ability greater than that of stick figures and cartoon trees, this new form of art was wondrous. I began exploring photography on my own in the spring of 2009 through tremendous trial and error, and soon looked beyond the simplicity of capturing basic objects; lighting, angle, focus, depth of field: these terms caused me to question every element of composition in a picture, and granted me with a creative edge I had never experienced before. I now possessed a window into the world of art.

This newfound creativity formed a style and unique method of thinking within me, pieces of my mind that may have otherwise remained undiscovered without the introduction of art in my life. As I delved deeper into the technique and history of photography, I found myself appreciating other mediums of art on a much greater scale as well; paintings, pottery, sculptures: these masterpieces represent the innovative genius, abstract thinking, and culture of their creators. My exposure to these works has opened my eyes to cultures around the world most of all. Masks and articles of clothing from exotic regions around the globe may be used for special ceremonies and other forms of celebration, and yet these possessions are so carefully and beautifully hand-crafted that they belong in museums; learning about the day to day role of artistic paraphernalia in societies offers insight to the lifestyle of many cultures, and allows us the opportunity to expand our knowledge of the world.

Beyond the role of art in a global context, photography has also presented me with career prospects that I would not have considered ,had I never gained experience with a camera. The realm of occupations concerning photography is extremely vast, varying from portraits to photographs in magazines to snapshots for websites; I have become an ambitious person due to the number of opportunities available to a photographer. In having a goal concerning my career, I have transformed into a student more willing to persevere through the obstacles of high school and eagerness to be successful at college in hopes of one day obtaining my dreams. In pursing an occupation in art, I aspire to utilize creativity to add to cultural ties that unify the world.

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