Monday, November 2, 2015

Turn around

One of the best pieces of photographic advice I've heard is "Turn around." In my mind that means: when you're working hard on a particular subject or scene, remember to look at the rest of the world too.

Once I was shooting the Potomac River upstream of Great Falls, MD. I was on a rock at the river's edge, trying to compose some foreground vegetation, the river, and trees on the opposite bank. None of it worked very well. Eventually I gave up and turned to go back to the car. Just a few feet away was a gnarled tree with exposed, tangled roots...a wonderful subject that had been right behind me as I was looking the other way.

Tree and Roots
This summer we traveled to Quebec City, Canada. One brilliant afternoon we took a short ferry ride across the Saint Lawrence River to Levis. I wandered about the ship shooting the city and the river. The sun was low and Quebec City was strongly back-lit; difficult conditions. But as I turned from looking at one shore to the other, I noticed the ferry itself.

Quebec-Levis Ferry
In the "About Me" bio on this blog, I said that photography allows and requires me to look carefully at the natural world. But photography, like the world, is limitless. There are more potential images than can ever be captured. If in our concentration on one subject we forget to occasionally look in the other direction, we will miss things. Turn around.

(By the way, I made a print of the ferry shot on Hahnemuhle Photo Silk Baryta. I've been trying out some papers and I like this one a lot.)

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