When I’m out with camera, my general approach is to look for things I find beautiful, then try to capture them in a way that will adequately convey that beauty to others.
My photography is about discovering what’s already there, removing the extraneous from the frame, and making a permanent record of it, for myself, and to share.
But I know others take the almost complete opposite approach.
They already have in their mind what they want to shoot, and how they want it to look, then seek out the compositions that will fit, and apply the specific processing that will lead to that desired final image.
Visualising the photograph before you’ve even found it, let alone captured it, is their first step.
Which I can understand for something like a commissioned portrait, where someone comes to you with a preconceived notion of how they want the final photos of themselves to look.
But I struggle to translate this ethos when simply wandering around with a camera in search of compositions.
Photography after all is an art form where we have to work with what we have before us.
With something like poetry or painting or music we start with absolutely nothing, and can create anything.
With photos, you have to use the physical objects and scene in front of you, and, as some put it, all you can really change is where you stand and when you release the shutter.
That’s where the art lies, for me.
It’s finding this undiscovered beauty that I find most exciting, rather than making something beautiful myself from scratch, as with the aforementioned art forms above.
How about you, which end of the spectrum are you nearest? Do you visualise the image first then seek it out, or capture what you discover along the way?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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