A favourite spot I (we) like to go to relax is only about 8 minutes drive from where we live. The Nepean River wanders through the Camden District (N.S.W. Australia) and it is at its widest going through Camden.
There exists a lot there to please people and caters for a diverse amount of interests. You can:
Have a leisurely walk on man-made paths or go off-track
Kayak/Canoe up and down the river
Go for a quick dip (no sand on the bank, though)
Ride your bike along a designated Bike track
Sit by the river with a book
Sketch, Paint, Photograph
Play ball games with your friends and family
Exercise in a number of ways
Take your children to the permanent Play equipment or kick a ball
We use it to go and relax, go for a walk and other things. I’ve been down there to sit and read, walk, sketch, paint or just sit and relax. When Susan comes with me she will either take a book or Crotchet.
Our most recent visit was just to sit and relax on one of the benches by the river. We were joined by i/2 dozen Lizards, a few Ducks and cooling breeze on a hot day for an hour or so. We are certainly blessed to have such a place so near to us.
There was a time when I would haunt the local bookshops where I worked and spend time sifting through all the Photographic books, building a wish list of books that I would love to have on my bookshelf one day.
I still have what I consider to be a treasured collection of Photographic books at home (about 60+), being Coffee Table, on practical and theory etc. Many of them date back to film days with a sprinkling of Digital. Most are on theory, aesthetics, ways of viewing/thought processes, movements and individual subjects.
These days, I’m most likely to not head straight to the Photography section whether I am in a shop that sells new or used books, but I head towards the Art section and Poetry first.
With the introduction of Digital it seems there were far more books being produced on the art of manipulation than there were before, most of them dealing with how to tackle Adobe Photoshop. There seemed less on Photographic aesthetic which I think was a shame. Book after book after book lined the shelves about Photoshop or similar.
I was in a second-hand bookshop recently and after visiting the Art/Painting and Poetry sections, I wandered over to the Photography section and was delighted to find, ’The Moment It Clicks – Photography Secrets From One Of The World’s Top Shooters’ by Joe McNally.
’The Moment It Clicks’, what a perfect title for me. Even before the advent of Digital Photography, for me, Photography was about the ‘moment of taking the picture’ and indeed the lead-up to it. I used to take Slides and Black & White, doing my own developing and printing in my Darkroom. Whilst the Darkroom was fun and I enjoyed it, it didn’t override the moment of taking the photo for me.
I’ve often had discussions with my fellow photographer-fiends on this subject as they don’t quite understand my view on this. I shoot Digital as well and have a couple of books on manipulation, but that is all.
With Slides, there was no ‘after-process’ if you like, unless of cause you developed them yourselves (which few people I knew did). You just sent them away for processing.
But back to the book, purchased for AUD$3.00, a real steal.
This edition was published in 2008, it covers the following:
Shoot What You Love
Keep Your Eye In The Camera
The Logic of Light
There’s Always Something To Bounce Light Off
Lighting Tips/Camera Bag/Lighting Gear
The Bar Is Open (a collection of 25 further tips covering Attitude; Choices; Aesthetics; Courage and more).
It is packed tips, recommendations and touches on thought processes and it doesn’t even mention Adobe Photoshop in the Index, indeed it only mentions the phrase, ‘photo editors’ once, on page 164. Bliss!
It’s been quite a few years since I had purchased a Photographic book and I am more than delighted with my latest purchase as it is exactly what I look for in a Photographic book.
When you go out to photograph, what ‘state of mind’ are you in?
Do you go out with an idea in mind, or do you ‘free-wheel?’
Both approaches are valid, depending on what you want to achieve. I have to say that for many years I would either pick a subject e.g. I might choose to photograph a Sunrise but have no real goal of what I wanted to capture, and so I would come home with anything, or sometimes I would just set off with my camera and ‘follow the light’ and see where it would take me.
Both of the above approaches produced some excellent images, some average images and of course many ‘learning experiences.’
One day at a meeting of a ‘Photo Group’ I was involved with, we were viewing a of my images when one of the members, Chris Donaldson asked me ‘what I was trying to communicate with the image?’ My answer was that “I wasn’t trying to communicate anything” I just merely took the image for fun.
As Chris mentioned, whether or not I was intentionally trying to communicate anything, didn’t matter as I was still communicating. That day, I changed the way I viewed photography. Up to that point (even though subconsciously I knew I was communicating) I wasn’t photographing for that reason. I was just photographing because I had fun.
I still have fun to this day, but since that conversation I have approached photography in a different way, in a more thoughtful way.
Next time you go out to photograph, think about why you are going and what you want to communicate?
The title of this post is from one of my favourite Photographers.
There are quite literally millions of things to photograph and no photographer could rightly claim to have photographed everything there is, however we do not need to.
I often hear the comment, ‘there is nothing to photograph…” An amazing statement really… As I sit in my office I look out the window (in suburbia currently), I see many subjects and many ideas come to mind of what/how I could photograph them.
The problem isn’t the lack of subject matter. The problem is that we wander around blissfully unaware of our surroundings and we also get caught up in the world, rushing here rushing there.
STOP! Just for one moment wherever you are reading this! Look around.
Do you see a tree? Yes. Look at it as if it is not a tree, but an idea generator, branches as conduit bringing forth ideas (leaves) and photograph it accordingly…
Do you see a fence? Yes. Look at it as if it is not a fence, but a palette. A palette that has light dancing over it creating form and texture, lines and shapes.
Are you a glamour/nude photographer? View the body, not as a body but as a sculpture; view it as part of the landscape and photograph it accordingly…
Are you a flower photographer? View the flower, not as a flower but as a person with a personality…
It is not lack of subject matter, it’s a lack of ideas.
The continued challenge as a photographer is that we need to reinvent and apply new ideas to the subject matter or as Ernst Haas eloquently puts it…
“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.” Ernst Haas
Today, what will you see? How will you communicate it?
Poetry and Prose by #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow, Co-Author of #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and Jan/Feb 2022 Spillwords Press Author of the Month