By Tom Kray.
From PhotoFocus‘ “Photography-Perhaps it’s about the limitiations”
“I once heard the great landscape photographer John Shaw say ‘The difference between a pro and an amateur is the pro knows what NOT to include in the composition.’
I pondered that and realized that there’s some Zen to photography. I know that many times it’s the limitations in photography that we need to become more comfortable with.
Our inclination as humans and as photographers is to ADD SOMETHING. But what if we realized that it’s all about TAKING SOMETHING AWAY?
This is most easily applied in composition. Start with a big, wide scene. Then start taking things out of the scene – either actually removing them or simply getting closer to the main subject. Changing the focal length or field of view, etc. As you reduce things that appear in your viewfinder you get closer to finding the thing that matters most – the thing you really wanted to photograph in the first place.” –Scott Bourne
Bourne’s philosophical post is a refreshing reminder that photography is not all about the latest gear and perfect shooting conditions, but about making striking images with whatever is available, in whatever situations we may find ourselves in. On one level this seems obvious but people (photographers in particular) have always been obsessed with the next big thing. This isn’t a bad thing by any means. Evolution is good for Art. But it does mean much of our magazines and websites are filled with photos and stats of the latest gear. And with so much of our attention focused on that aspect it’s easy to forget, sometimes, that people have been making images for years, long before all our hi-tech goodies had even been conceived. And those images are just as beautiful as anything created today.
It’s about using what you have to it’s fullest and using limitations as inspiration rather than just looking at them as roadblocks. In the same vein, we recently posted about the Mobile Photo Awards-a contest where every image submitted was shot and edited on a camera phone. Everyone of those images was shot on a device that cost less than a thousand dollars and was edited with software you could buy with lunch money, and they’re fantastic.
Bourne reminds us that working within limitations makes us be more creative. And wasn’t being creative why we got into photography in the first place?
Bourne’s post can be found in it’s entirety, here.