For this week’s Friendly Friday, Amanda challenges us to CAPTURE A FEELING in our photos. Amanda is inspired by Scott Bourne who writes about seeing photos with a photographer’s eye. Scott makes several points which resonate well with me …
… there is something more to photography than gear.
The camera exists simply to help us express ourselves. Far more important than which f/stop we use or which focal length lens we want, is having something to say – being able to look for things that help us to express ourselves visually
.. finding something you can photograph and take an approach that goes beyond the expected.SCOTT BOURNE – PICTUREMETHODS.COM
The point that does not resonate is the idea of pre-visualizing photos before taking them. For the great masters it’s probably true. Certainly, for studio photography where everything is controlled, this is a necessity.
For amateurs like me though, taking photos on site is normally impulse driven. Yes, I do compose my shots. Yes, I do look for points of interest and interesting perspectives. But pre-visualize, to the extent that I know how it will turn out? No, I’m not good at that.
In fact some of my worst shots have been those which were pre-conceived. I once went on a shoot where the organizer had commissioned professional dancers as models. The final set was on a beach and she’d asked the dancers to do their thing in the water. Great concept! But eight dancers prancing and twelve photographers shooting made for a whole lot of confusion.
As I was taking the shots, I knew they were doomed. I saw dancers and photographers pushing into my frame and random fingers and limbs littering my edges. After the shoot, I unloaded the SD card, scrolled through the shots, sighed mightily and put them aside.
Months later I revisit the photos. One sequence of imperfect shots catches my eye. Individually the pictures have issues but I see potential in the dancer’s movement and interplay with water. A bit of cropping and light adjustment and I think I have an interesting sequence. To my eye, the photos capture a feeling of exuberance and energy. It perfectly describes the character of the young man who was my favorite model in the shoot.
And my point is? Everything Scott Bourne says about SEEING a shot is true. Sometimes though, SEEING the shot comes much later, well after the photo has been taken. Making the picture can be a discovery after the fact.
My final shot is of the same model. He’s doing a pose borrowed from an old movie. I’m not sure what feeling is being captured here. Maybe ‘smoldering intensity’ a la Disney’s Flynn Rider 🙂
Photos taken in Cuba. July 2020.