Some big shot photographer supposedly said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you are not close enough”. I forgot who it was. Maybe you know.
I’m going to talk about this proximity issue in another post, but his statement leads me to something I want to talk about today. And I’m going to summarize it like this:
If your pictures aren’t good enough, you haven’t been thinking hard enough.
What do I mean by that?
Well, most photographers go out shooting without any idea of what they want to achieve, other than “nice pictures”. I did this myself for over a decade, so I have experience in the field.
I used to think that if I was just vigilant enough and on my toes the whole time, I was bound to get some good images. And I did on occasion.
But if I had just invested a little more effort ahead of time, I could have done so much better.
I learned one important lesson about photography in general. There are really only two things that produce a valuable photograph. Either your photo has beauty or it has meaning. If it has both, you hit the jackpot – what I call a great photograph.
If you go out shooting with this simple idea in mind, chances are you will shoot less, because you realize that not everything is beautiful and not everything has meaning.
You will discriminate between the banal and the extraordinary. And you probably won’t even take out your camera unless you see something worthwhile.
Try this method when you go out with your camera next time.
There is much more to think hard about. You can read about it soon on this blog.