“Autumn is a second spring...” ~ Albert Camus
Wanting to do something is an amazing moment.
REALLY wanting it. You can taste the satisfaction and wonder of achieving it. You can’t WAIT until it’s yours.
Respect inspiration. It’s the fuel of the engine revving within you.
Then… Act on it.
I’ve always wanted to capture an “intimate landscape” of fall. Where you see Autumn in all its vivid glory, wide and in your face, with nothing else in focus but the visceral experience of being there—each time you glance at the image.
I’ve tried for years. I’ve never been satisfied with my result.
I REALLY wanted it.
So I watched others who could do what I couldn’t. I listened and worked with them when I could. I read what respected experts said.
I learned and double-checked and developed a list of all the things I’d need to have and do differently.
When you’re growing your craft skills, lists and planning are crucial. For me, anyway. It’s like you’re your own instructor, preparing the course you’ll take to learn and grow.
Otherwise, you’re often floundering, acting on one recommendation after another, spending money and time being reactive rather than proactive, and too often you’re frustrating yourself with half-successes and outright failures. You’re setting yourself up to walk away, shaking your head, more certain than ever that you’ll never “get it.”
My goal when a I target a new skill or way of shooting is to focus closer and understand better. Not to overwhelm myself with more detail.
I borrow from all I hear and and see and need to get better.
And, once the plan is ready, I create from there.
What I’ve learned about intimate landscapes:
Wider is better. For me and what I’m wanting to shoot, anyway. I’ve purchased a super wide angle Tamron (15-30mm) lens and spent half a year getting comfortable composing with it. Which leads us to…
Composition is everything. What is your focus? What should the viewer see first, second, third? How do you get him/her there, by the mere factor of where you position your lens when you click the shutter. Which leads us to…
Practice is everything. Even with the best equipment and understanding of composition, you have to walk the terrain and look for the right moment, and then you have to work that terrain and moment until you achieve the shot you’ve always dreamed of. Which leads us to…
Vision (voice) is everything. Technology and technique only get you so far. First, foremost, forever, you steer the ship. From the start. From long before the shot.
Which brings us back to the lead for this post.
YOU’RE the one mixing things up and looking for something new and challenging to capture. You’re the instructor best positioned to craft what you’ll learn and shoot next. Your second and third and fourth “spring” will be where your artistic eye leads you—what you choose to study and practice.
You have to want it. BADLY. So much, you refuse to stop until you can make the dream a reality.
Otherwise, you’re left with following the crowd and wondering why what you shoot looks like everyone else’s images. And why that one, wacky person over there’s images are so much more impactful and engaging.