I gotta say that there’s a lot of planning and thinking that goes into making photographs that are worth a darn. You think about the light, composition, location, subject, what the heck the client wants, what the heck you want, all the gear you think you need, all the gear you might want to bring in case you are totally fooled by everything you think you know … blah-blah-blah.
But for me what is the best part is everything that you don’t and can’t expect. That’s the “art” of it. The rest is the science part. Oh, don’t get me wrong … I’m as geeky as they get and love the tools and thoughtiness of it all but I just love it when I do something “wrong” or when I’m not paying attention something happens that there was no possible way for me to have predicted. When that happens and my shutter is open I’m often delightfully surprised at the results.
I was covering a big local triathlon and was setting up for some motion shots of the start while on a floating platform. Up pops this competitor who was warming up and he stands on the other end and there is lovely water on his face from the sunrise. I whip my lens over to get a frame of it and just as I am about to hit the shutter button he turns.
I was at a sandwich shop to have lunch and my phone rang. I put my camera on the counter to pull the phone out of my bag when the sandwich dude did this. I dunno, I think that it’s funny but then I’m not right in the head.
Then there are the whole mess of photos that kinda take themselves. They tend to be of the ground, sky, my lap/butt all kinds of things that the lens is pointed at when for some reason the shutter button is triggered. We used to get these on almost every roll of film when we were loading them. We called them “loader frames” but I just call them neat.
The deal is that you can’t plan for any of this and for me that’s the beauty of it. You can learn from them but you really can’t script the good stuff. But then if you could – what fun would that really be?