As we are continuing to limit our outdoor excursions to places that do not contain 4 walls, a roof, and a floor, I am doing some neighborhood walking (no human touching!). The sun has been shining upon us, here in Albuquerque, for almost one week and it does feel great to venture out on occasion. Whenever I do go out I am sure to grab my camera as I want to bring back images of spring in full bloom!
The pictured image took a while to capture. Upon seeing it for the first time, I approached it with caution, as if announcing my arrival would cause it to fold its delicate petals inward. I circled it a couple of times to see if I could get a “better” light. It seemed as though I was going back to my limit of 24-frames of film.
In David du Chemins’ new book, “The Heart of the Photograph,” he writes, “Don’t get overwhelmed and start looking for shortcuts. Craft is a long game. Craft takes intentional focus, applied over time.”
Sure, as I was walking I could have simply grabbed that shot as I walked by. I knew, however, that little flower showed promise; as if it was beckoning to me: Take my picture. I’m not going to last long and I want you to remember me…
For more than 10 years I have been photographing in just that manner. Many of my inspirational photographers, du Chemin, Elizabeth Opalenik, Brigitte Carnochan, Susan Burnstine, etc., shoot in that very same manner. They “work” an image until it is right. It’s not enough to see that one image. It could very well have been seen by many; just how many, however, actually “felt” it? How many could hear it?
We all know that every time we go out we are not going to be successful capturing compelling images 99 out of 100 attempts. We would be extremely lucky to achieve a 20% success rate. If that is the case why not take time to make time work for us? Take the time to walk around your intended capture.
At this point in time so many people call themselves photographers, whether they have a phone in their hands or an actual camera. As of 2018 there were around 150,000 people who were classified as photographers by The Bureau of Labor Statics. Staggering, isn’t it?
That begs the question: What are they all photographing? Family? Friends? Flowers? Travel? It doesn’t really matter.
Set your self apart from the herd. Don’t be a lemming. Take a chance… take your time and you will be rewarded sufficiently.