Taking pictures in your head…
The creative process for me is always interesting. I never know where I am going to end up or how I’ll get there. It’s not scary not being able to predict the outcome, it’s more like a drug that keeps you wanting to come back for more.
This photo from the icefields was one of many I took in an incredible half an hour while being witness to one of the prettiest sunrises I have ever seen in Jasper. I visualized this photo before I had put the tripod down on the cold glacier worn rock.
I am always looking at shapes and colors and imagining them framed in a rectangular box while taking photos. It happens very fast. It takes but a moment. Yay or nay. That fast. If I don’t see something that clicks, I move up and down, looking left and right and because I always am shooting with a wide lens studying the foreground in relation to what’s on the horizon.
In a way I snap hundreds of pictures that never make it to the camera. It’s like doing edits in my head.
When I start editing in camera I try detaching myself from what I saw to be more objective and cold. Feelings that you had while shooting resurface. It’s sometimes difficult to try and push out what you were experiencing when shooting and instead look detachedly at your photos. You don’t want to make the mistake of thinking what you saw was great and fool yourself into believing that it was when in actuality you process your image and it looks flat.
After the edits in camera, pictures go onto the computer where again they get edited. Often times what looked good through the viewfinder doesn’t look as good on the camera display. The same goes for the photos that end up on the computer. There will still be rejects that are deleted forever. I’m not sentimental about editing my landscapes. If I have to make an excuse as to why I am keeping them they don’t belong.
Once on the computer my mind is working again, looking at the RAW images and visualizing where I can take them. Sometimes the final image bears a close resemblance to what was there, other times I want to take the landscape in a direction of my own, darkening, lightening, separating tones here and there, etc.
Have you noticed something missing here? There are no thoughts of filters or lenses. I’m not thinking of my camera gear. It’s not an object of my affection. I’m not in love with the lens that I use. Have you ever taken a long drive on the highway? After an hour you find yourself looking out of the window watching the country go by. You check traffic. You check your speed. Are you thinking about the engine that’s moving the car or the tires that you’re rolling on? Probably not unless you’re car is about to break down. LOL
That’s how it is when you’re immersed in what you’re doing. You observe and react. Photography should be that simple. Anybody who tells you different is either BS’ing you or trying to sell you something.