Monday, June 16, 2014

"Stand Here for the Best Photo"...

   You may have seen signs like this in your travels.  This one was at the Roosevelt cottage on Campobello Island.  I really have to smile when I see them.

   They seem to suggest that to experience the place, it must be viewed from just this vantage point.  When I looked at the postcards in the gift shop, this was the view they offered.  So, I ask myself, why bother to photograph it from here?  Just buy the postcard!

   There is always the temptation when you are in any location to look for these spots, whether they are marked or not, they are always there.  When you find it you can delude yourself into thinking, "I've got it...I can move on now."  But you would be very, very wrong.

   When I did my First Person Rural series I spent 2 -3 hours with people mainly talking with them but photographing them as well until they got use to the camera and felt more at ease.  That's when I made the best images.  The landscape is no different.

   Take your time, walk around and, instead of talking, listen.  Sit still and absorb the energy of the place.  Walk around some more and see, with your "hard eye", what draws you in so your "soft eye" can embrace it. (Read about those designations here.) If you can, return and experience the place at another time of day or in different weather.  It will have a whole different message for you each time.

   But whatever you do or attempt to do in a location never be content with the "postcard", look more deeply.  Look beyond the postcard into the soul of the location.


Anonymous said...

I might have lost my way without your blog to nudge me back into seeing with my authentic eye. Feeling like I needed feedback on my photography I went to a photography group, mainly professionals. Although encouraging, I found suddenly I was very judgmental of my process and pictures. Thank you for reminding me that I can let my intuition lead the way and not be intent on making "the perfect picture".

Patricia Turner said...

I am so glad you have found the blog helpful. It is so easy to be self-critical when all one really needs to do is honor the eye of the will never lead you astray.