I can’t recall the last time I left the house without my phone. As it has a very competent camera on board, this means I haven’t left home without a capable camera for longer than I can remember.
Surely this fact, combined with my passion for photography, must mean that every journey I make is peppered with frequent stops to make photographs?
Well, no, for me photography doesn’t quite work like that.
Even though I have a camera with me nearly the whole time, I rarely use it in off the cuff and unexpected situations.
Partly because, unless you have your phone in your hand, camera app open and finger hovering over the shutter button, you’re not going to be quick enough to catch the kind of fleeting moments where people say “I wish I’d had a camera with me”.
The reality is likely that they did have a camera with them, they just didn’t have it poised to capture the scene before them with a split second’s notice.
For me, my photography is most effective and most enjoyable when I photograph deliberately.
This means going to a specific place with the specific intention of making photographs, and having whichever camera I’ve chosen for the trip set up and ready to shoot.
But more than this, deliberate photography means engaging the mindset and outlook that actively seeks beautiful frames to capture.
Deliberate photography, for me, is not about just sitting somewhere waiting and hoping that a scene worthy of a photograph might instantly unfold before my eyes.
It’s about hunting in every nook and cranny for the undiscovered and overlooked beauty in the minute details of the world around us, and capturing them with the release of the shutter.
None of this happens by accident.
I plan which camera to take, where to take it, and choose to have the mindset that will seek out photographs.
An important side effect of practising deliberate photography is that when I’m not, I’m free to wander (or cycle) around gazing as much or as little as I wish at the passing scenery.
I’m not consciously (perhaps sometimes almost anxiously) seeking out something to photograph. I’m freed from that expectation and sometimes unwanted burden of making photographs to prove I’m still making photographs.
Then, when I’m ready to return to that willing state of hunting, I again begin deliberate photography, more refreshed by the fact that my eyes and mind have not been constantly locked in deliberate photographer mode in the interim.
How about you? How deliberate is your photography? What do you do to seek out photographs that you’re proud to share?
Please tell us all about it in the comments below, we’d love to know (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography and cycling life looks like right now.