With all the resources available to a photography enthusiast it’s easy to lose sight of the fun of photography and get wrapped in the competitive frenzy of getting the shot.
While on vacation, had an opportunity to spend a few days in unique Savannah, Georgia. A town somewhat stuck in time, charming and quaint and witness to so many aspects of American history. The city has a huge number of photographic opportunities to the embarrassment of riches, and this created the pressure to create the amazing shot, to do Savannah justice. And herein lies the problem.
Too wrapped up in the idea of a book-worthy photographic idea, I stopped having fun and started getting frustrated. The weather did not cooperate – it rained for most of the two days we spent in Savannah. By the time gray clouds parted, tourists were everywhere so it was impossible to get “the shot” of the Forsyth Park walkway and fountain. So, frustration gave way to anger and it all swept the fun of discovery and exploration aside. Worst of all, creative vision and ideas got stifled by the negative energy of a goal oriented focus.
Looking at Savannah photos now, with some distance, I missed a lot of visual opportunities that were there for the taking. Too committed to what I wanted out of it, I missed out on stunning details and nineteenth century urban landscapes, all beacuse of intense tunnel vision.
So, shooting with intense focus is perhaps the most dangerous to creative vision and novel photographic interpretation. Even with some level of commercial aspirations it is deadly to focus on a mission, comit to an image that is simply unattainable at that moment. One must remember to let vision develop and imagery evolve. Slow down and look as opposed to chasing some pre-conceived notion of an image that must be created.
One can learn a lot from and in Savannah. To me, the biggest learning was about working through the photographic process, evaluating the environment and avoiding the trap of advanced committment to a set visual outcome. Absence of focus and direction may be critical in discovering and creating, but perhaps central to editing process and developing a story out of free-range visual harvest.
Now off to appying the lessons…