Art: A Deeply Personal Journey

“What have I learned?” It’s a question I’ve often asked myself after about 12 years of seriously working to learn as much as possible about digital photography.

Almost fifty five thousand images reside in my Lightroom library. Some were captured with my first digital camera, a point and shoot. A few of these I’m quite proud of. I’ve learned that while equipment might increase the breadth of what one captures on a camera’s sensor it still comes down to one’s imagination, vision and creativity to make an impactful image. My bag of equipment is limited. My challenge has always been to make the most of the tools I have available to me.

I love to get out and shoot. Practice and experimentation in my mind help to define one’s artistic persona. In the past few years I’d done just that in the desert southwest area of Arizona and in coastal regions of my home province, British Columbia. This past year or so I have spent countless hours near my home at a small urban marsh, the Fascieux Creek Wetland. There, I’ve worked hard to improve my ability to capture interesting images of the wildlife that reside there.

 But over time I’ve become somewhat numbed by all the technical stuff that surrounds photography. Increasingly my thoughts tend to circle around the relationship between my feelings of creativity and inspiration and the images I make. Certainly equipment and software are important. They are the vehicles through which creativity and inspiration are released. I’ve come to realize that art is deeply personal and to me the emotional, human side of my art out weights the technical side.

 I’m not getting any younger. The older part of that equation is happening far too quickly. Who knows what the future holds. But I have learned that for my photography the most important factor is being happy with what I create.

Colour and texture revealed in ancient totem

Textures and colour are subjects of many of my images. Monday, on a camera walk in Victoria, I passed though Thunderbird Park near the provincial museum. A small section of a large totem attracted my attention. While the totem was drab and lifeless  there were hints of colour amid the weathered, cracked timber. In capturing this image I hoped that my software would find that colour and intensify it to reveal a bit of the old totem’s  character and glory. 



This entry was posted in Education, My Work.


  1. jim a nd cathy June 8, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    Totally agree with you, Stu, and your work, in my mind anyway, reflects the exceptionally creative and deeply personal take on your craft.
    Keep on keepin’ on, sir!
    Sure do enjoy your accompanying observations and backstories to your pics!
    Hi! to Ellen, and so sorry we were unable to hook up on your last jaunt to our fair city.
    Next time!
    Jim and Cathy

    • Stu Dale June 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm #

      Thanks Jim and Cathy,
      I call photography my second career. I enjoy it and best of all I don’t have to rely on it for an income. We will try to get together on our next trip to Victoria.

  2. Jane & Don Rampone June 9, 2017 at 12:58 am #

    Stu, I love your photos & your writing is also insightful. I also love to capture interesting things in photos but I know next to nothing about cameras. Since my digital point & shoot camera has gone kaput, I’ve resorted to using my phone. I can totally appreciate your thoughts about art being pleasing to you. I agree that there is the technical aspect but the creation has to be say something to our hearts. Keep the photos & journals going, Stu. They are great! Jane

    • Stu Dale June 9, 2017 at 6:43 am #

      Thanks for this comment Jane. Its taken awhile to realize that I only have to please myself with my photography.

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