From Rodney Smiths blog..via A Photo Editor

To say a photographer has a vision is to say the photographer has something unique to say to about the world.  Why do some photographers have something unique to say, when so many others just shoot pictures that are general and lacking vision? Most people would say it has to do with talent. Maybe. But maybe not.  Maybe it has nothing to do with talent.  Maybe it has to do with the ability to express one’s feelings. The person who presents a strong vision has figured out a way to express his or her feelings, while others are struggling to do that. Talent, then, becomes not so much artistic talent, though that may be a good part of it, but rather emotional talent.

This applies to music as well: much of music, obviously, is a technical skill, as is photography.  However, the difference between a good musician and a great musician is, I think quite obvious: emotion. When I was in Israel right after graduate school, I sat in on master classes with Arthur Rubinstein, Isaac Stern, Alexander Schneider, and Gina Bachauer.  I remember a particular class with Isaac Stern.  They had some of Israel’s greatest prodigies on the violin.  They would play in a technically perfect way.  But then Isaac Stern would play the same thing.  It was like night and day.  The difference was not so much that Isaac Stern knew the notes any better; rather, he could feel it better. He knew himself and his emotions better.

Emotional Talent

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