It's Always An Experiment
Sometimes, even after a lifetime making photographs, I am not sure what the result will be.
I apply all my technical and artistic skills to a solution. I know the mechanics. Inverse square rule. Depth of field. Rule of thirds. Receding lines. I know what a circle of confusion is. I’ve shot in the darkest high school gym and the white sands of a dry lakebed at noon. Made photos with a telephoto when I needed a wide-angle lens. Needed three frames at the end of a roll of film and had only two. Waited for the light at the right moment of action and the light changes at that moment. Calculated the next play so I could get the touchdown. Stood in shadows so I wouldn’t be noticed. Stood on a ladder for a better angle.
Maybe it’s because I’ve done all these things, all these experiences, made all these photographs that I remain confused.
The more photos I make it seems the less sure I am about what should be good.
Someone asked me earlier if I’d made any good photos today. I told them I didn’t know. I’d exposed a lot of frames, attempted different angles and subjects, worried about exposure and composition, and lens choice. I’d done everything I could using all the tools I had to make a good photo. Or good photos.
I don’t experience uncertainty at the moment of pressing the shutter. It seems perfect. The uncertainty is after the shutter. Before then next shutter press.
Each conscious pressing of the shutter, every direct action, every choice combining all the skills, all the experiences, the memory of all the other photos I’d made pressing on that button immediately leads to the question “Is that the one?”
I’m never sure.
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