Ever hold down the shutter button and hope for the best?
We all have – in modern times at least. In the days of film we didn’t. It was just too expensive to do that. So, here are three lessons you can learn from changing your behaviour.
The wonderful world of digital has set us into a new era. We can take an individual shot for free, download it for free, process it for free, store it almost free. Wow! It could not be better. Little wonder that we see a shot that is just a little bit difficult and we press the button and start firing off our exposures like we had machine guns. What do we achieve? Dozens of shots that are almost identical. Many of them a waste of time and effort. We are really just hoping against the odds that the shot will some how work out. Think for a moment…
Have we lost the ability to ‘make’ a decisive capture?
Try this exercise next time you go on a shoot. Pretend your memory card can only hold 36 exposures. That was the number of negatives you would get from a large roll of film. Next, given that you can only shoot off 36 frames, you need to do three things…
- Think about each shot – carefully. Plan it, savour it. Make sure that you know what you are going to do before you even put your finger to the button. Set your camera up for it.
- Frame the shots. Compose each as if there was payback of $64,000 for every good shot. Pick the perfect composition for each press of the shutter button – make that shot pay!
- Wait for just the right moment… add up all the variables in the shot until you have confidence it will work. At the right instant capture the image – make a photograph.
We seem to have forgotten the power of these three things that went into every photograph in former times:
The decisive moment.
These simple things did a lot for photographers. They enabled us to learn what was important in a shot before we started. They helped us to know what we were trying to achieve. They taught us to get it right at the right moment. These simple things made us better photographers.
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