“I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER” Episode 1-1
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Episode 1, “I Am a Photographer,” is the introductory video for a new YouTube series I’ve created, simply called “Eric Bunch Photography.” In this series, I will share my approach to photography and explore the many different ways we can create imagery from our own perspectives.
I believe that photography is a way to communicate our ideas about the world. With it we express our interest and feeling toward the subjects we capture. The moments in time that we preserve through our art speaks volumes about the things we care about and respond to.
As a young boy, I often found myself trying to record the observations I’d made in the world. It didn’t matter whether it was with pen and paper, a canvas and brush, or a plastic camera and a fresh role of film. I remember trying to convey to others the feelings I had toward the scene, the subject, or the moment I had witnessed when I made the image. Over time I realized that I was sharing a unique point of view: my perspective on the world, the way in which I personally encountered it.
I remember one time I drew a very detailed drawing of a nuclear explosion. I spent a great deal of time trying to express the destructive power of such a weapon. The drawing was huge, and by the time I was finished, my hands were stained black with pencil and chalk. My father found me as I was reviewing my work. He was silent for a time. Then he asked, “What made you want to draw that?” He didn’t come across as disapproving, but he also didn’t seem to care for the subject matter. My father was usually very complimentary of my artwork, so his reaction this time showed me, I believe for the first time, how the subjects I chose could have an impact on those who viewed my work. I think it was around that time I decided I would use my art to share the beauty I found in the world. If something made me happy, I wanted to share it to make others happy.
This began to feel like a calling, like something I should do. I’m not sure why. I just know that it felt better when someone would say, “Wow, that’s really neat!” or “That’s so beautiful!” I think it felt good because that’s how I felt when I saw my art! To share a common interest or appreciation for something felt like a connection.
Today I like to travel and find interesting things to photograph that may not be so accessible to others. I enjoy hiking into remote locations to view a sunrise lighting up a distant mountaintop. It’s humbling to know when I am the only one experiencing a moment. The idea that I can take a photograph and share it with someone else at another time is like knowing I have a precious gift to give—I can hardly keep it to myself. It would never be enough to try to describe such an event with words. An image can be so much more powerful.
In the first episode of the series, I travel to Hanksville, a wonderful little community in southeastern Utah, USA. Within a hundred miles in every direction, you’ll find stunning parks and locations like Capital Reef, Goblin Valley, Grand Staircase–Escalante, Natural Bridges, Lake Powell, and, of course, Moab, gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Even with all this natural beauty in close proximity, Hanksville feels remote, like it’s in the middle of nowhere. Yet it still has a couple of great restaurants and hotels, and it’s an ideal launching point for a photo excursion.
You’ll find some eerie features nearby—incredibly thin rock formations; gray, powdery dunes that make you feel like you’re walking on the moon.
And if all of that isn’t enough, plenty of man-made subjects add interest to the environment. It’s a place to be explored, and I like to explore. I like discovering things I imagine haven’t been discovered before. When I find something that widens my eyes and drops my jaw, I want to use photography to show it to others.
This YouTube series is meant to be more inspirational than educational. I’m not opposed to sharing some of my techniques, but what I really want is to inspire others to look inside themselves and find their own reasons for making images. I want to help them find happiness as they discover what perspectives or insights they can share with the world.
If I can do that, that will make me happy too.