Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Photography Advice: Slow Down

Broken Souls - Newberry Springs, California
Cameras nowadays are fast. They can auto-everything with lightning speed, and most can capture several frames in a second. Digital cameras can react much faster than the photographer can.

It is easy to get into a machine-gun type frenzy. Click, click, click, click. It is easy to get into the trap that quantity will create quality. Some seem to think that photography is a race.

Great photographs are very rarely created by accident. Random snaps don't produce excellent results. It takes vision, creativity and understanding the decisive moment. It takes being an artist in order to create meaningful images.

What gets lost is the art of being slow. We could analyze The Tortoise And The Hair, but instead I'll say that you must first feel in order to create. You must first feel the scene in order to capture it. You must understand both what you are capturing and why you are capturing in order to do any justice with your photographs.

A good way to slow down is to shoot film. Not only are film cameras slower (some much slower), but there is also a real cost with each opening of the shutter. This forces you to take your time just a little more and make sure that everything is right. For digital photography, you can place your camera in manual mode.

Aside from using equipment to slow you down, you should physically and mentally slow yourself down. You should breathe deep. You should close you eyes for a moment. Try to experience the full sight and sound of the scene. Think of the deeper meaning of what is around you before reaching for your camera.

There is a benefit to being slow in photography. It is good to take your time. Don't rush to get the shot. Take some time to understand the context of your image. Take some time to ensure that everything is just as you want it to be. And when the moment is just right, that's when you open the shutter.

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