Photography is sometimes strange and in looking for that perfect image we overcomplicate things and get loose baggy pointless images.
One sort of goes into an artistic coma and when you look into the little screen at the back of the camera to look at the masterpiece you have created you get all excited. Incidentally this action of looking at the images on the camera screen is called chimping as the photographer resembles a chimpanzee looking for fleas in a companion.
Yesterday I was doing some complicated wave photography, sticking my lens very close to the water and getting some exciting images. At times like this you can see the image on the little screen blown up to a simply enormous size on canvas and already hanging in an art gallery with a fantastic price tag on it. The picture looked really great until I realised that it was a nose print in the barrel of the wave that caused the image to seem so exciting. Yes, when you take pics looking through the viewfinder your nose rests on the screen and leaves a nose print on the screen. I wonder if the police have ever used nose prints to determine who last used a camera at a murder scene – anyway back to the point I was trying to make.
The point is that keeping things simple often works the best. I saw the wet surfer walking and saw his wet foot prints and thought of the movie Dead Man Walking and took the picture and called it Wet Surfer Walking.
The great irony is that I am not practicing what I am trying to preach. Yes simple images work well but are sometimes a bit boring. The other pictures I was trying to create worked even better. Sticking a lens into a wave is exciting for many reasons ranging from insurance claims, personal safety to unexpected creativity. Exploring a subject repeatedly creates different images of the same thing and allows subtle differences to come through in your pictures. As you explore something exciting and interesting to yourself, hopefully the viewers of your images will see something of the personal excitement you captured and appreciate the beauty of your creativity. And I am really dreaming now – that appreciation that the viewer develops will grow into a greater appreciation of the environment and people that live in it!
Keep it simple but don’t be afraid to include the kitchen sink and everything else. There are no rules, just guidelines and everything can be good!