Road trips and light.
Road trips and light.

I once had a photojournalism professor called Joe B. Swan. He was one of the kindest people that I’ve ever meet. He was from West Texas. He taught at San Jose State University. He had a pronounced West Texas accent. He talked about “shaders and siluets.” That’s what you are looking at right now.

Shadows and Silhouettes.

He also talked about making pictures from the “dog’s eye view.” Or, as I call it, “What the dog saw.”

Lessons learned in 1974 are still true today. Obviously.

Why him? Why now?

I had a couple of WordPress conversations with a couple of you. One talked about how well my picture turned out. One said, even after two years she doesn’t have pictures like mine. The third was about “What would Ray do,” to not shoot a touristy picture.

A dangerous thing happened. I started thinking. You know how that goes. Heh!

I thought about how I learned. Forget the technology. I learned using film cameras, developing the film and making prints in a wet darkroom. Today, most people have never done that. Doesn’t matter. Many people do not even do any post production. They shoot auto everything, make an in-camera .jpg and put the picture on their blog, or on Facebook, or Twitter.

None of that matters. Really. The picture is the thing. The thing that matters. It also matters that the picture is printed on paper. That’s another story.

So.

In order of the conversations.

My pictures never “turn out” good or bad. They are an extension of my vision. Even when I talk about “tinkering,” I’m trying to get to the picture in my head. Not just the look. Also, the feel. If I can do that in camera without any real post production help, so much the better. For me, there are no accidents. That’s the difference between making or taking a picture. By the way, if I can’t get to “my picture,” you aren’t seeing whatever I did get to. No point in that. Think about it.

The other two comments — two years and touristy — are about the same thing.

Patience.

Unless you are photographing every day, making a lot of exposures, curating tightly, and learning from your mistakes; two years is nothing. You are just getting started. When I say make mistakes, I’m talking like this. Your keepers — the good stuff — usually should average out to about 10% of your entire take. That’s not so much.

Same with not shooting touristy pictures. You have to take them to get to the good stuff. You don’t have to show anybody. If you live in a place in which you can return to a specific location frequently, great. You learn its ebbs and flows. You learn about its shadows and light. It will teach you. If you can’t return frequently then follow this saying… as a wise man once told me, “Don’t take the picture, let the picture take you.” Find a place. Sit there and wait for something to happen. When it happens, you’ll be ready.

Ya dig?

Advertisements

14 Replies to “Lessons Learned”

  1. I’m not even admit to how many times I have looked for that photo – since March.
    🙄

    But… I have several other photos I like because I was there, waiting, waiting.
    😀

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Attributes

Where creative art is appreciated

Child of the border

Short stories and poems about my experience with growing up near the U.S. Mexico border.

Halyna Viktoria

Photography

Karine Leroux Photography

Textures - Patterns - Minimalism - Abstraction

ADNAN KRNDZIJA

FASHION · HEALTH & TRAVEL BLOGGER

LezBeeHonest-FromAGalaxyFarFarAway

Don't let her be "The one that got away".

Relax with Bronte

Self care isn't self indulgence... Self care is self respect.

Sea Turnstone

Photography, Travelling, Wildlife

Serendipity!

Photographer, Designer, Editor and Educator Ray Laskowitz talks about pictures and their back stories.

... le blog de Walter PASCOLI

Art contemporain , peintures et dessins ...

Vova Zinger's Photoblog

The world around through my camera's lens

The Bouquet

A collection of beautiful things and thoughts

The Trichordist

Artists For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet #StopArtistExploitation

Curious Appetites

Exploring the flavors of home, around town and nearby communities

Cumbria | The Lake District

An Eclectic Mix Of Revelation By Baldy. A Blog About Cumbria, Home Of The UNESCO Lake District National Park. Photographs, Paintings, Sketches & More. Mountains Are My Bones; Rivers My Veins; Forests My Thoughts.

Unpopular Judge

Exploring the Death of Storytelling in Movies

SURYA PHOTOGRAPHY

Through Photo, we speak our language

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

%d bloggers like this: