Point of View

POV can convert a blah scene to something special

Is all art really about point of view? I think that is a big part of it.

I am a digital artist. A camera is the original capture device for most of my images. I will talk abut this because it is probably one of the harshest examples of my point.

Digital images. A commodity. Billions of them are made each day. What would make anything I do stand out from the crowd? Why should anyone look at, much less buy, mine?

If I walk to the viewpoint for the lower falls in Yellowstone, wait my turn, place my tripod in the holes thousands of others have worn, and snap the picture, what do I have? If I have done my technical job correctly, I have another pretty picture of the falls. They are beautiful and it is hard to take a bad picture of them. Millions of people do every year.

What is Lacking

What’s lacking is a unique point of view. I just shot the same picture millions or other people shot. I have not added anything to it. I have not given you anything different.

How do I make my image special? I need to bring a new point of view. I need to see it different, or in very special light or weather conditions. I need to do some work to get to a location hardly anyone goes to. Or I need to treat it as raw material and modify the bits. Maybe combine with others or blur it or change the colors, ending up with a more abstract image.

Almost anything can be done with the scene or the image to make it into something unique.

Different for Difference’s Sake?

If being the same as everyone else is bad, then I should be arbitrarily different, right? I have to do what works for me. I have to be proud of the resulting image and I have to want for you to see it. I have to hope you will want to hang it on your wall.

So I can’t just do arbitrary mechanical enhancements. It’s not good enough to just make it different. Different to be different is not art. I have to express my point of view.


Where does my point of view come from? It sounds trite to just say it comes from me, but it does. I have to bring something new to you through this common image. I have to use my imagination and creativity to expand on the ordinary. Even if it is no more than making it more vivid and real looking than you normally see. Or to re-imagine the scene and craft a new reality in my computer.

If I am an artist, I have to bring you something worthwhile. All I have is what is in me. When I get it out, I am expressing my point of view. In reality I think that is all any artist can do.