This is what I saw. Just before dusk.
The football team — The Saints — were in the middle of a playoff game. The dog who sees things doesn’t care about football. She only knows what she knows. Like, “I need to go outside and you’d better take me.”
Not being the greatest football fan, I agreed with her and out we went.
Good thing too.
The light was glowing. Glistening off wet trees. It was turning. Orange. Red. The colors were bright. Almost too bright. They weren’t believable on computer screen. I tuned them down. Very rare for me.
The making of the picture was simple. See it. Photograph it. It just had to pick and choose a little. This picture was an accident. I couldn’t figure out how to frame this scene.
So, I didn’t.
Normally, the subject might be in the center of the picture where those white puffy clouds are located. You might position it according to the rule of thirds, which young new photographers hate. “There are no rules, man.” Uh, tweetberries, it’s a mathematical expression used to describe what occurs in nature.
This brings me to my learned lesson. Or, at least a reminder of one.
There is an old Italian saying. “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer” Same thing with most things in the arts.
There are all sorts of “rules.” Most of them are just guidance. One that comes to mind in “rules for photography” when you expose film (it also applies to digital capture) is, “if you must err, err on the side of warmth.” This especially applies to photographing people. Unless it is a picture intended to be very cold, most viewers respond favorably to a warmer picture than a colder one. I was taught that as a rule. I didn’t discount it out of hand. I listened, I tested and found that it was correct.
Stop rejecting things that your elders say about rules, just because you don’t like them. That’s the rules. And, the elders. I got into that this weekend with a newly elected Congresswoman from the Bronx. You know who I mean. She’s gotten as bad as the guy who lives in the “empty” White House. I like her. But, her tweets have become unbearable. All noise. No signal. I told her that. She didn’t like it. Now I’m part of the great white old class. Right. I’ll forget more than she’ll ever know if she keeps this up. She earned a good education. She’s smart. She’s says that she was a bartender so she’s heard everything. Wow. Who does that sound like?
It’s not the political thing that I’m talking about. It’s the unwillingness to listen. To learn.
To that end, I ordered a new t-shirt. It says, “Everybody is a photographer until they get to this.” There is a red line pointing to the “M” setting. The manual setting. I’ll wear it to the next second line. That’ll make a statement.
Good luck this week. We are gonna need it.