Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Pre-empting the photo

  1. #1
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Pre-empting the photo

    What does the photo that you didn't take look like? You know the one. You see something that interests you, you pull the camera to your eye and before you press the shutter there is a period of thinking about composition, settings, framing, timing, pov, focus.
    What if you just looked, pulled the camera to your eye and before all that other stuff, you press the shutter? It's the shot you take before you take the shot.

    That's what I've been doing.
    Feel free to discuss but make it more than like or dislike. What's your reactions, feelings thoughts on story development, process.

    Pre-empting the photo _DSC0520 by tom.dinning, on Flickr
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 31st May 2013 at 10:00 PM.

  2. #2
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    1,009
    Real Name
    Lex

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    An excellent question, and hopefully moot for most digital shooters. When in doubt, I usually take the shot. But I carry more memory (72GB) than most, so maybe that's not always an option. Regardless, I think you should always try the shot, then check it on the screen and ask how it could be better. If the answer is a long, awkward pause in your creative cortex, move on. But sometimes you can work the mundane into something really special. My sister, a superb detail and macro shooter, is very good at finding a photo where most of us would shuffle on. She definitely has a few things to teach me.

    You'll never know how the photo you didn't take might have looked. So take it. Nowadays, it's basically free.

  3. #3
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    I get your point, Lex, but I don't think you got mine. I was suggesting not to think about reframing or improving as you call it but taking the shot as it first appears, the spontaneous one, the 'rule less' one. Like throwing paint at the wall or doodling. What if I took all my shots like this? Here's another from the same place.

    Pre-empting the photo _DSC0521 by tom.dinning, on Flickr

    It's like I am purposely putting self in a position of photographic ignorance and simply responding to the view thru the finder. Trying to capture what we don't see, the space in between, the unconsciousness before I am conscious of what I am doing.

    It's like when I get a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. It's that bit that I want to capture.

    Pre-empting the photo
    _DSC0518 by tom.dinning, on Flickr

    I spend a good hour working on the concept at this place. I have about five shots that make the grade. That's three of them.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 31st May 2013 at 10:00 PM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,651
    Real Name
    Shane

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Tom;

    I quite like the second shot in this series but find a bit of a conflict in your stated approach:

    What if you just looked, pulled the camera to your eye and before all that other stuff, you press the shutter? It's the shot you take before you take the shot.
    I spend a good hour working on the concept at this place.
    By spending an hour working on the concept aren't you essentially pre-visuallizing or planning your shots - essentially you are working on composition, framing, etc before the camera even comes out of the bag. I would argue that this isn't just shooting without thinking at the first thing that catches your eye...

    I am still learning to pre-visualize my shots and think that there is value to that approach. I think the 'don't think, just shoot' approach can also be used effectively in certain circumstances.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,342
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    What if???????? You are prepaired for the shot. Have your camera ' pre ' adjusted. Have trained yourself to compose a shot, without thought---automatic---second nature. Have the camera to your eye, because you can anticipate what is about to happen, before it happens......................and click. What if????


    Welcome to the world of wildlife photography................

  6. #6
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Yeah, look, I am probably just going crazy and haven't recogised it yet. Dont give it another thought. Its just me shifting my own parameters a bit.
    Maybe what I'm thinking is everything is photographable as long as there is light coming from it, so why ignore the bits we tend to glaze over in our search for 'the shot'. And we don't need to include everything or all of it to allow for understanding.
    We all know being a 'good' photograph is pretty arbitrary and subjective so I'm leaving that alone. This is me taking a different path and seeing what eventuates.

    Take the shot below. Nothing interesting here? Thats the point. I shot it because its normally considered an uninteresting thing to photograph but the act of photographing it makes it interesting to me.
    Is that weird, or what?

    [IMG]Pre-empting the photo[/IMG]

    As you have said, Steve, its a bit like wildlife photography. My problem is most wildlife photography, especially birds and the like, bore me ****less. You may as well show me a photo of someones nasal cavity. Or worse still, your brat child at its 5th birthday party dressed as a fairy (unless its a boy and that would be interesting).
    Yet people take photos of birds and kids all the time. And are proud of it.
    So what to stop me from shooting the bits that are uninteresting to others and making it interesting to me.
    There might even be someone out there as crazy as I am who could join me in my merriment.
    Last edited by tomdinning; 1st June 2013 at 02:56 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,594
    Real Name
    Greg

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Someone quoted Confucious the other day: "There is beauty in everything but not everyone can see it". Maybe you're on the Confucian path.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Tom why lift the camera to the eye and have a look trough the finder? Like walking with the camera in hand and take a shot without consciously composing?

    The first “problem” you have to overcome would be settings. You get the exposure wrong and you have no image. Auto focus will solve the problem of focus. I presume something would have to be in focus?

    My thoughts: a very good way of getting to know the equipment you are using, you will have to preset exposure by relying on experience.
    It might not always work as you would like it to, but when walking in an interesting environment you might just get a lot of good interesting shots.
    A very good way of doing “street photography” whilst you do not want the subjects to be aware of you photographing them.

    Your shots #1 and #2 look pretty much composed shots. The lines are simply to straight and the boy seems to have been told what to do. Shots #3 and #4 look like the shots you are suggesting it to be.

    Maybe not as crazy you might think it to be, many a novice amateur take “composed” shots in that manner and some of them are amazing shots. It might be a way of going back to basics without all the technicalities we tend to surround ourselves with when getting serious about our passion

    Sorry Tom, I have to reject your comments about wildlife photography with disdain. You sound like any fanatic trying to force their view upon those whom might not agree with them by thrusting a steel pipe down their throat.

  9. #9
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,301
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Look on Flickr, Facebook etc and you will find thousands of shots that have been taken without a thought for composition, quality or anything else for that matter.

    (Apologies to all those thousands of photographers who do use Flickr and Facebook to post great photos too.)

  10. #10
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    Look on Flickr, Facebook etc and you will find thousands of shots that have been taken without a thought for composition, quality or anything else for that matter.

    (Apologies to all those thousands of photographers who do use Flickr and Facebook to post great photos too.)
    You are so right, Ian. Bloody awful stuff. Pictures of their kids, dogs, another bloody sunset, what were they thinking of? Don't they know its offensive just to look at them. Don't they know the rules? Just because they have a camera they think they can go around taking pictures of anything without any consideration for our sensibilities as photographers.
    You know what I reckon. They aught to run every single photo by you before it gets posted. All 30 billion of them just from last year alone.
    That should keep you quiet for a while.

  11. #11
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    [QUOTE=AB26;315164

    Sorry Tom, I have to reject your comments about wildlife photography with disdain. You sound like any fanatic trying to force their view upon those whom might not agree with them by thrusting a steel pipe down their throat. [/QUOTE]

    With distain is it? I had to look that up. All I said was I don't go much for wildlife photography. Do I need your permission?
    I don't like Brussels sprouts or shoe shopping with my wife either but I have nothing against farmers and and women.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback. It's housework day so I'm off to deal with the mop.

  12. #12
    drjuice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    310
    Real Name
    Virginia

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    I'm in RustBeltRaw's boat. I never have less than 16GB in my camera unless I've already filled up all my 16GB memory sticks (4 of them). But, I find that filling up all my 16GB sticks is happening less and less frequently. I empty the camera memory sticks every night, so that I start off every day with 4x16B (64GB of empty memory stick space).

    I'm jes' sayin'....

    virginia

  13. #13
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    I'm in RustBeltRaw's boat. I never have less than 16GB in my camera unless I've already filled up all my 16GB memory sticks (4 of them). But, I find that filling up all my 16GB sticks is happening less and less frequently. I empty the camera memory sticks every night, so that I start off every day with 4x16B (64GB of empty memory stick space).

    I'm jes' sayin'...
    virginia
    Thanks for sayin', V, but what your point? How does having 16gb or 6 Tb influence how you approach your photography? Might it be better to approach each shot as if it was your last on the card? It seems a bit like the philosophy of strategic bombing used in WW II.

    What I'm getting at is a strategy to stimulate my own photography past the point of following the leader. I dont want my photos to look like yours or Andres or anyone elses for that matter so Im investigating a way where I can find my own path.
    Filling my cards with photos is one approach but I would like to be a bit more thoughtful, introspective, creative.
    Is this a strange thing to want? Originality?

  14. #14
    xpatUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,949
    Real Name
    Ted

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    I am reminded of Zen which I studied quite deeply when younger. The philosophy of taking a action without thought and so on. Zen archers who hold the arrow above their heads and let the body do the shooting. Not forgetting either, Grasshopper snatching pebbles from the hand of the Master.

    Tom's pics do have a Zen-like quality - just a coincidence, I'm sure . . .

    A bubble . . .
    colors shimmering . . .
    Pop!

  15. #15
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    I am reminded of Zen which I studied quite deeply when younger. The philosophy of taking a action without thought and so on. Zen archers who hold the arrow above their heads and let the body do the shooting. Not forgetting either, Grasshopper snatching pebbles from the hand of the Master.

    Tom's pics do have a Zen-like quality - just a coincidence, I'm sure . . .

    A bubble . . .
    colors shimmering . . .
    Pop!
    I did read 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' when it was the thing to read. I was young and gullible as well, Ted. Now that I'm old and cynical I'm inclined to think I have to put some effort and thoughtfulness into my actions. It's the result of being called a thoughtless old bastard by my friends and relatives.
    What I'm probably alluding to is the action of removing any thought of traditional composition when I frame the picture. More an instinctive thing that concentrates on the content, what is in focus, the relationship between me and the space.
    When I have it figured out I'll let you know.
    I'm still playing with the idea.

  16. #16
    xpatUSA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,949
    Real Name
    Ted

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Quote Originally Posted by tomdinning View Post
    What I'm probably alluding to is the action of removing any thought of traditional composition when I frame the picture. More an instinctive thing that concentrates on the content, what is in focus, the relationship between me and the space.
    Tom, you are not alone. Most of my shots, which are more snaps than works of art, are taken just as you describe - the composition made without conscious consideration of the 'rule of thirds', etc, etc. It sounds like we've both gotten past shooting people with flagpoles sticking out of their heads, etc, and now apply our own subconscious criteria to our shots.

    Something like that, anyway . . .

  17. #17

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    Quote Originally Posted by tomdinning View Post
    Maybe what I'm thinking is everything is photographable as long as there is light coming from it, so why ignore the bits we tend to glaze over in our search for 'the shot'.
    Good photographers have been photographing those bits for years.

    Take the shot below. Nothing interesting here? Thats the point.
    Of course there is something interesting there. The shadows and light make for an interesting shot and with some more thought and composition you could find a great shot.

    The fact is that none of the images you posted are uninteresting. They all have elements of interest but haven't necessarily realised their full potential. What you are doing is actually very common. Something is attracting you to a scene and you are taking a shot before fully identifying what it is that interests you and what other ways are available to capture it. Scott Kelby talks about it in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpHMuK7Htic.

    Pre-empting the photo

    The scene may be mundane (as in everyday) but this image is filled with interesting stuff. There are strong interesting shadows and an interesting texture on the floor. It is just that none of it has realised its full potential in this image.
    Last edited by dan marchant; 2nd June 2013 at 09:06 PM.

  18. #18
    tomdinning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Darwin Australia
    Posts
    188
    Real Name
    tom dinning

    Re: Pre-empting the photo

    That's the stumbling block here, Dan. As far as I'm concerned it has reached it's full potential. That potential may very well be to give the viewer something to think about, even if its to reframe my picture to their own taste, or find the picture mundane or even find the whole concept a bit weird. Occasionally, though, someone might try and figure it out as to what I am trying to get at.
    I don't take all my pictures like this. Most of them are pretty traditional stuff. I still don't consciously apply compositional rules, although some might say I do so subconsciously. It just wasn't the way I was brought up. I didn't even know about any rule of thirds until I moved to digital and discovered the entire planet was taking pictures. I think they just wanted to become famous real quick so they looked for an easy way to get there. 'Colour by numbers' is what I call it. Follow this rule and that and you'll have the perfect picture. 10 ways to get your photos to look like the pros. There's only one way. ****ing hard yakka.
    I digress.
    I like the idea that people might look at my photos and think a bit, go past the visual stimulation and contemplate a moment or two. I know it won't appeal to the general public but I suppose I would like to meet one more person who understands what I'm looking for. My wife does, but she knows I'm weird.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •