Imagining the Image: What happens when I think before I shoot? I’ve heard this in workshops; see the image first. But usually the workshop leader drifts off into concepts of composition………
And that misses the point. I have had one particularly good workshop with Cole Thompson, where we discussed seeing what you want the final image to be, and how to capture the image towards that end. Really Imagining the Image….First!
*(Cole’s discussion of personal vision is also excellent…take a workshop with him if you get the chance. I don’t endorse many people like this).
Reflecting on some recent photographic success, I found that for ALL of these images, without exception, I SAW the image BEFORE I captured it! Even without realizing. I had pre-visualized. Everything on my “Now Showing Page” and some not there (that I personally consider successful), were all made that way. So I’m adding some favorites here (some blasts from the early days included), where Pre-visualization really was the key to personal satisfaction for me. And the stories behind the image……..
This Kiva I had visited years before. Taken a few quick tourist images and moved on with my Road trip. I wanted to revisit those images and they were ‘lost’ in 20+ years of disorganization. They were also color 35 mm and I was doing B&W now. So when I had the opportunity to revisit this site, with a photographic concept in mind, this was the result:
So inspired by Jason Avery’s #filmtober Question #27 “What do you look for when on location for a photo?” Over the next several months, I will pursue the story behind my images. These will all be tagged as Intersections and The Story……
After discussing the “Contest Trap” in previous posts….. of course I have just entered another contest for the Denver Architecture Foundation, sponsors of Doors Open Denver. My interests in the contest was two-fold: I’m a member of DAF and the co-sponsor Colorado Photographic Arts Center (aka CPAC, and unfortunate acronym): I love photographing Architecture…….Also it was open to any architecture within the Denver City limits, no stated time limit. So although the Clock Tower was taken at a DAF Open House, none of the images are from the actual Doors Open Denver Event.
I tried to avoid cliched images….Did I Succeed?
My Expectation is that I will again fall into the “Special Merit Category” which means, OK but not our style……..
Above, three recent but very different images that I had submitted to an online Gallery. Two are very recent, but the Apache Plume is from about 12+ years ago. So what does that say about my photography skills, style and personal vision. Keeping in mind that vision and style are not synonymous. These represent different styles, but I think a similar vision in regards to how I see the light and what attracts my eye.
All of these images received a similar ranking (details here). That soul destroying ‘Special Merit” category that keeps you wanting more. So what does “special merit” mean anyway? Have I not progressed at all in 12 years? Or are my interests and vision not the current hip and trendy thing? (I think the latter) So I’ll get recognition, but never actually win a contest? (One of my recent submissions is going to be published in a book this year. But that’s another story……..). And what is winning?
My middling success for a while sent me down “The Rabbit Hole” as I discussed recently on my photo diary. So I’m reflecting, reorganizing and redirecting my energies. At a recent Personal Vision Workshop with Cole Thompson, we discussed how winning can actually be a setback to the progress towards understanding our personal vision; leading us to pursue the WIN rather than the VISION. Small rewards can seriously sidetrack real goals and personal accomplishments.
Who are you making photographs for? Yourself or the win?