For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a powerful visual in my head about how photographs exist before they are made permanent via film or pixels and a camera.
The imagery is very simple – a deep beautiful evergreen forest, with various sized ornate golden picture frames suspended with invisible thread in every direction.
As you approach the frame and reach the right position, distance and angle, a memorable composition presents itself before you, perfectly framed.
A heart stopping, near magical experience.
Of course when we’re actually out with camera, there are no golden frames to guide us.
At least, none visible to the naked eye.
But the way I seek compositions is exactly the same – trying to find the best position, distance and angle to capture what’s before me in the form of a beautiful and memorable photograph.
How do you imagine photographs exist before someone renders them indelible with a camera?
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9 thoughts on “Gilded Golden Picture Frames Suspended In A Forest”
I have the same feeling as you. That thing with the picture frames hanging around, though in my mind they are much plainer, no gold..
I usually don’t even walk around a location to check out several views, several angles. No multiple shots. I seem to go right to the correct spot depending on the lens on my camera. Perhaps a step closer or farter away, get to my knees… framed and click.
Those darn frames mostly hang in the right places for mee too
Do you find this the same whichever camera you are using? Or do you see different shots depending on focal length, for example?
The frames change with the fical length but not with the cameras… film or digital..
Other than the ‘records’ one has to make (while hopefully minding the principles of composition and framing I hope to remember), sometimes it seems that there is an almost supernatural class of ‘organic’ images that leap out and present themselves. A picture tells you that it will be good. Then, with luck, I have my camera to hand. One thing for certain – I will always remember the times when I did not.
I don’t know what gods create great ‘found’ photographs, nor how they are propitiated, but often, they seem to arise out of the experience of hours looking through books of great photography. Maybe osmotically, as though there is a subliminal training of the heart and eye in recognition.
That’s the thing about art. At its core, there is mystery.
Yeh I know what you mean, I make so many pictures in my mind whilst I’m driving that I simply can’t capture with a camera. At least it’s all good practice for our photographic eye.
Which leads into your other thought, yes absolutely I think looking at inspiring and educational work of others (photography and other visual art forms) maybe largely subconsciously helps train us to see better ourselves. Another reasons why I’ve left sites like Instagram and am using Pinterest to explore great artists past and starting to invest in photography books too.
And yes leaving something intriguing, alluring and unexplained makes art irresistible.
I practiced Ken Rockwell’s “FART” method (feel, ask, refine, take) for a long time and when it became automatic I, too, started to see the gilded frames. What’s really frustrating is when I see a gilded frame while driving at 70 mph on an Interstate highway. By the time it connects in your mind, it’s a mile behind you. And it’s too dangerous to stop anyway.
Yeh I see a few photographs every day driving to and from places that would just be impossible to capture, even if I was the passenger hanging out the window with my finger poised on the shutter button. I think even when we take these photographs “just” in our minds though Jim it’s all great practice in tuning our seeing eyes.
[…] But more than this, deliberate photography means engaging the mindset and outlook that actively seeks beautiful frames to capture. […]
[…] constantly on the hunt for beautiful compositions in unlikely places, revealing the invisible golden frames that have always been […]