Saturday, February 22, 2014

Creative Photography

Creative Photography
Emale to Dave Linscheid
February 21, 2014


Dave, you have concisely stated the essence of out methodology.  Which many would frown upon as either no methodology or laziness, but our refined ability to mold something out of "not much" or at times nothing at all, exposes our creativity. 

To me, the ultimate compliment is "why that's just an ordinary thing, but you have made it beautiful or provocative, and I can't stop looking at it, or I can't get it out of my mind and I keep returning to look at it again and again.  I've learned a lot by figuring out some of the techniques you used, but how in the world did you make it look so_____?"

 Sometimes we know the instant we release the shutter what we will do, perhaps in as many a dozen steps, but mostly it is simpler than that.  At times we know the image needs no treatment, it's as good as it gets SOOC.  And finally, at capture we have little concept of what to do to emphasize the quality that attracted it to us, but one strong quality does not a photograph make, at least worthy of our high standards.  So off we go on an adventure of "try this" & "try that". 

Given our vast repertoire of techniques and tools, we usually make it work, but not always.  We recognize when it is time to quit, perhaps tagging it for another day, but sometimes the delete key is the only think that keeps us from wasting out time on a dead end.  Our rich backlog of good to excellent images that gives us a plethora of material to work with.  We without regret we move on to the next image.  I find the making the "not much" images more fun and gratifying than the near perfect shot that  the image that SOOC, that needs only a couple of simple tweaks to bring it close enough to perfection.  Viewing photographs is so subjective, like all forms or art, that I certainly don't know what perfection is, and I don't believe anyone else does either.

 Excellent photographer/teachers emphasize searching for that great face or stunning scenery, which ultimately means world travel, but with all due respect, can a competent craftsman take a "bad" image of the Taj Mahal, or a stunning exotic model who looks great from any angle in any attire or without?

end of lecture---what do you think Dave.  Thanks again for the stimulus for a nice bit of teaching.  I'm keeping a catalogue of these dialogue as I think they would make a fine basis for some teaching format, whether it be seminar, book, or net.                                      Mo

Addendum: Dave: Taking pictures of the things around us represents a greater challenge than, as you stated, traveling the world, or photographing a stunning model. The big challenge for me is taking pictures of the same subjects and giving them a new look. I've uploaded many pictures of the same barn, the same house, the same car, trying to give it a different look or different atmosphere.
As I don't travel much, 2004 was the last time I was more than fifty miles from home, editing has become ever more interesting to me, sometimes more interesting than shooting.”

February 22, 2014