Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2015? I do.
My resolution is to take fewer photographs! Sounds surprising to hear that from a photography enthusiast, don’t you think? But, let me explain…
I use a digital camera (Nikon D810). The convenience of digital cameras means that there’s no cost impact for a photographer to fire the shutter off like a machine gun without really thinking about what the creative objective is for taking the images. In fact, I have noticed recently with my own work that only a very small percentage of the photographs taken are ‘keepers’ – out of say, 100 frames, I may keep 5 to 10 images, only. …that’s a pretty poor strike rate and the statistic tells me I need to stay focused – not only on the subject, but on my artistic intent.
So, my resolution for 2015 is to work more slowly and diligently. Therefore, henceforth, when I'm in the field with a scene before me , I'll take time to appreciate the scene and to assess its photographic potential; I'll remain open to and be conscious of the feelings the scene invokes within me and I'll visualise how I want to portray the scene through my image so that the viewer will also feel the emotion the scene invoked within me. Now, there's a challenge!
As photographers we should be conscious and deliberate in our creative intentions and aim to capture and portray to our audience the key characteristics of a scene that motivated us to capture it in the first place. To do otherwise, I feel, is to content ourselves with mediocrity and to hinder our development as artists.
I've read several books by the late Stephen Covey (I'd recommend the Seven Habits of Highly effective People ~ perhaps I'll create a journal entry on this powerful, insightful, book at a later stage in another post...).
Mr Covey had a great knack for concisely making his point in an way that was apt and easy to understand. One such quote which says exactly what I'm trying to say hear is,
"Listen with your eyes for feelings."
Stephen's intentions for this quote was really see the person before you to tap into and empathise with that person. However, for me, it's equally applicable to landscape photography - really 'see' the scene before you to feel the emotion it conveys to you.
For me, 2015 shall be a personal journey to evolve my photography in a thoughtful, intentional, way. It’s a journey that has no destination for I feel there is always room for development, growth and sharing: ...and I shall be sure to enjoy the journey.
I’ll continue to update my web site regularly with the results of my efforts: I hope you visit often.
In closing, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year – may your 2015 be filled with health and happiness.