When you see a photograph that’s already done, it seems obvious, like “Of course that’s the picture”. Like it’s always been there. A successful image hides everything that went into making it so the viewer can simply experience it. If a photographer has done his work well, it’s invisible. And so, from that point on, we take for granted that it was THAT moment that was captured, that THAT was the shot, that it’s in focus and well-exposed, that all of the elements appear in complex yet exquisite balance, that the hues of the colors and the values of light lead your eye through the story that plays out inside the frame, and that it gathers our attention and it asks us to look.
But before it was done, it was NOTHING.
It seems obvious, but regard it with the respect it’s due – just like a blank canvas, there is no picture until we make the picture.
Interesting things occur all the time, but pictures get made of them because there is a photographer present who is not only able to recognize a photograph before it becomes a photograph, but also has a camera along and knows how to use it. I’m talking about real photographs here, not snaps of my lunch or a friend’s new shoe.
Like this photograph of a teller at the drive-thru at my bank yesterday. I didn’t leave the house to make pictures, it wasn’t a ‘photography day’, I was simply running errands. But as usual I did bring my camera, and I did preset ISO, shutter speed and aperture to something in the ballpark for a proper exposure on the front porch before I got in the car. In the course of my travels the opportunity for this image showed up, but the only reason I get to share it here is because I picked up my camera from the car seat and made this picture – on a real camera with real resolution and real processing for a real print – yup, the real photographer experience.
Happy : )
[ M9 | 35mm Summicron ASPH ]
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