A fuse is lit and a shell is heaven-bound as a symbol of a revolution that was much greater than a war. These instantaneous fuses are lit because the fuse of the American Revolution never burnt out. As a curtain of fireworks spreads and illuminates the sky, it serves as a reminder of the ideology that every American was destined to inherit when the Declaration of Independence was signed and defended.
The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. ~ Woodrow Wilson
Have your camera ready, but don’t always have it at the ready. Candid photography is finding the equilibrium between enjoying the moment and capturing fractions of it. Don’t keep your camera in focus because you won’t see the entire scene. Focus your attention on the moment. Then you should focus your camera.
Pictures might allow us to see fractions of memories in color, but it’s better to have it memorized in color.
The photograph begins to lose its purpose as you are distracted by your camera. A photograph consists of two defining halves: an image and a memory. For someone who did not experience the event, the photograph only serves half of its purpose. A photograph should serve as the materialization of a memory: seeing the photograph will lead you to recall the memory. For those who experienced the event, the photograph becomes so much more than an image on glossy paper: it comes to life.
Photographs tell amazing stories, but the featured subject(s) can add or subtract from the story. The narrative that is told by your pictures is determined by your perspective and focus. Two photographers can shoot the same scene and give completely different accounts because of their approach. A picture is a work of art and should be treated with the same reverence that painting and sculpting receive. You might not be able to give the same amount of consideration to action shots, but capturing slower action (such as celebrating) could benefit from a methodical plan. Unique perspectives make for great photographs.
What makes something magnificent? What makes a thing so fantastic that it isn’t confined to what it is? It’s description doesn’t stop at just a definition; it’s qualified as something greater than it’s purpose.
But what makes something exceed the limits of what it was made for? When does ordinary become extraordinary and then develop into something even greater?
Does the magnificent creation describe the attributes of its creator? Does the magnificent creation describe the things that can be created from it?
Our language has thousands of adjectives, and this could be applied to any of them. A word isn’t just defined by a dictionary; it is defined by the implications that it has. A word is so much greater than its meaning, connotation, or the sum of its letters.
Photography is taking your subject and placing them in the perfect setting. The ideal setting is fluid; it changes with each subject and should reflect its personality.
My crazy sister’s body and mind don’t agree; she is a winter person trapped by her affection for summer activities. Thankfully, El Niño has gifted us with such a mild winter that she has not come down with cabin fever. Even with the surplus of spring-like weather, she refuses to keep her true personality cooped up by frigid temperatures and a few inches of snow.
Don’t let the weather define your shoot. Your subject should be the foundation for every single photograph you take. Do something that is counter-intuitive. Morph several aspects of their personality. Your subject isn’t static, and a cookie-cutter picture isn’t enough to do justice for the amazing person they are.
Photography isn’t just about your camera settings, the subject, or your angle, you have to look for what your photographs can become. Simply omitting some elements of your photograph can add drama, change the focus, magnify the subject, and let you tell a different story. Photos can be transformed from the regular aspect of your camera into another in such a way that those viewing your work are given a different perspective.
Take my header image as an example: During our grueling bus ride from Wales to Edinburgh, Scotland, we were given several rest stops. One such stop happened at an old stone bridge. I saw the mountains and the river and thought to myself, “Self, this would make a great picture.” I snapped a few shots, took some deep breaths of fresh air and boarded the bus. Months later I was attempting to find a suitable header image and happened across my rest-stop quick shot. I played around with it and cropped it into the image I have now.
The foreground took away from the dramatic presence of the mountains. Although the river provided a sense of where I was, the cropped image highlighted the scenery. I was able to eliminate the competition between the river and the mountains so that your attention would be drawn into their majestic slopes. The river is still part of the photograph’s story, but the main characters, the mountains, become the uncontested focal point.
Before my healthy photography obsession began, I always viewed people utilizing their hands to frame prospective shots as those creative people that just wanted to flaunt their creativeness. Now, my hands are an invaluable tool in the moments leading up to capturing the photo.
Even if you think you look goofy, just remember that you are going to get some awesome photos and everyone who thinks you look silly is missing out on some great pictures!