As a statement it feels like a bit of a cliché but it is highly relevant in relation to Photography. This article explores that " In The Moment " concept and what does it mean to your photography - if anything?
So first of all this post came about after going out for a daily walk and listening to a Podcast in which the film critic ( Mark Kermode) got into discussion with his co presenter, about being creative and being " in the moment" which then made me think about this in relation to photography.
The outcome felt important enough to put on the Blog as my first real personal view on photography!
Will this work or be of any interest?
I don't t know - but please read on - from the likes shares & comments I will be able to tell if this made sense and added value for anybody!
CLICK - CLICK - BOOM!
As photographers in the digital age we shoot loads of images and rattle through memory cards because memory is cheap - But it impacts you TIME and TIME is a precious thing!
The more shots you take of a poor subject the longer it takes to upload them, review them, edit them and the more disk space they take up!. - And to what end!
So yes take plenty of shots of a subject that is worth taking images of and to do this you need to Stop - Look - Review (SLR)
Its rare that you need to rush into a location to capture a shot and if you do then it would generally suggest you did not follow this SLR principle in the first place. If you so stop and look you will discover several things
The shot you thought was good is not that good
You are just going to where the other photographers are in this strange herd mentality that photographers have. Lots of people taking a bad photo does not mean you should join them.
Look around you, feel the space and the moment - It will help you in your composition of the shot and enjoyment of the process.
What are you trying to say with the image - what is the narrative? Your image should
tell a story
strike an emotion
ask a question
make a statement
We rush into a shot and if we were to properly look at the situation we would change our approach and hence the outcome
Its the wrong time of day ( I need to come back another time - when the light has shifted)
I'm in the wrong place ( I need to be on the other side of the road)
I need to change lens
This is rubbish and the composition is all wrong ( which takes us back to STOP)
We take a shot have a quick look and then take a load more shorts, virtually identical - a quick look is not a review! Do you have your camera setup to enable you to review properly in a considered way.
Are all the right bits in the image in the right places ( ie people)
Is it in focus at the place you want it to be in focus
Does the histogram show good management of the light
Is the depth of field (DOF) as you want it
Is the foreshortening as you want it
Is there sufficient space to edit the image
So is this SLR approach being " in the moment" - well to me it is because it makes you slow down in a considered and aware manner, which will help you get batter images and enjoy the experience more.
The Infinite Monkey Theorem is a proposition which states that an unlimited number of monkeys, given typewriters and sufficient time, will eventually produce a particular text, such as Hamlet or even the complete works of Shakespeare. Well the same applies if you just keep randomly pressing that shutter release ( you will get a good image eventually) but that does not make you a photographer.
Which Photographer am I today?
You may feel that this is a strange and unrelated comment but for me it is a pivotal aspect of being a photographer, which can become an all consuming passion for so many of us but you need to mange it to ensure you enjoy the moment - I will explain
If I go out I have several camera options and they all influence the "me" that that will be present
Nikon D850 If I take this camera then I am a Professional photographer, I have lots of kit with me and I am out on a commercial shoot a wedding or to capture significant portfolio image. Lugging a bag of camera kit around with you impacts how you interact with the day and the people I'm working and I can enjoy the fact that I am working - being the best photographer I can be.
Fuji X100 If I take this camera then I am a tourist and if I get some nice shots great but I am going to enjoy the trip and enjoy using this retro style camera. I have time and space and no pressure, I can enjoy the day and if something comes along I can take 2 minutes out and capture it. I am am the average bloke in the street
Iphone I'm just out and I may want to capture something as a simple record of a moment that I am part of and the enjoyment of the moment.
No Camera I just want to sit back and enjoy being there
This may feel a little long winded but I think its important to understand the impact that this kit and hobby can have on us.
Inward Looking/Reflective & Sharing
As I have progressed through my photography journey one of the greatest surprise to me was the impact that sharing and helping has had on me and my photography.
I sat down and put together a bucket list of things I wanted to try or achieve as a photographer and this included.
Run a photography Course
Do one to one photography coaching
Deliver a photography talk
How do these fit in to the theme of being "in the moment" you may ask?
I have found that its about give and take. If you are prepared to share your knowledge, time, skill then the rewards are significant. The courses and the talks I run have taught me so much about the technical aspects of photography and about my own personal photography. These courses/classes and talks have made me a slower and more considered photographer so back to the SLR principle. Because these types of things are so interactive it must be a here and now experience and I would advocate trying any of the above or if that's too much for you just helping a friend with their photography (you'll be surprised)
Its amazingly rewarding and enjoyable
Are you enjoying your photography or is it a constant frustrating challenge and journey of needing validation, wrestling with the kit and not getting the images you want?
I find too many photographers lose focus of what their original aim was. So why not go back to enjoying the moment and joying the process and your work will come on leaps and bounds - if it doesn't at least you will have enjoyed it.
Please share, post comments or feedback you views on this article.