The blue hour. In motion.
I look back at my career. In the middle past. It was a time when I used film to do this kind of work. It was a time when sometimes I had no other choice. Film had a slow ISO. You had to adjust or light for it. I loved it then. I love what I do now, except that it often takes me time and thought to get back to what was once easy.
Forgive me for constantly dipping into the past. I firmly believe that if you don’t understand where you came from, you’ll never have a path to get to where you are going.
This picture certainly wasn’t made 20 years ago. It was made last night when I was waddling around full of too much turkey and the fixin’s. It’s an example of what you can do if you take your mind out of it. Or, if you can barely stand up because you ate really well. Too well.
I’ve often found that when I am at my worst physically, I make some of my best pictures.
I discovered that in about 1990, when Kodak gave a number of us a new film emulsion to test. As I recall it was some kind of beefed up Kodachrome.
I caught the flu.
We had deadlines.
I worked with a heavy and spinning head. My brain was turned off.
I worked in all sorts of light. I exposed four rolls of film. I thought, well this is gonna suck. I didn’t see the results until well after the technicians at Kodak did. I wondered, whatever they are the going to think of me. When I saw the film, I was amazed. It was as good a shoot as I was doing back in those days.
Today I say, turn your brain off when you are out making pictures. Don’t think. React.
There is a huge qualifier to that. It is about the same as the Boy Scouts motto. Be prepared. For the most part, if you work like I do you are always prepared to make a picture. If you are working in a new place, read about it. Study it. Listen to the music found in the region. There is so much information to be found online. Find it. Use it.
That’s the same with a portrait or some kind of people shoot. Learn about the person before you make their picture. That works especially well with famous people. Do a little research about them. If you have something to talk to them about, they’ll relax. You’ll make a much better picture.
Don’t look at other photographs pictures of it or them. You’ll only make the same ones. Or, frustrate yourself trying. Make your own pictures.
This picture was made with a simple upward movement when I pressed the button. You can do it. Practice doing it. Don’t do it when you are out there working unless the picture calls for it. No need to duplicate what’s already been done.
That brings me to social media, especially Instagram.
That’s for tomorrow. I promise.