Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When the Inner and Outer Worlds Converge

I read a thoughtful post, about the simultaneous exploration of the outer world and the inner world of the photographer himself (or herself) in the making of photographs, on Otto Von Munchow's blog.
(Click Here) to read the entire post on munchow.wordpress.com, including some thoughts from Henri Cartier-Bresson, a master of sharing the inner and outer worlds and where they converge.
One of the concepts that Munchow brings up is "tunnel vision," the exclusive focus that one gets when fully absorbed in photography. He mentions that when he achieves this state, he can be sure that there will be some good images in whatever he's taken. But, he cannot usually say which ones, until he reviews them.
I am very different in that way. I certainly experience this focus on the subject, process, and myself - "tunnel vision." However, I usually know which images are going to be the best from the set, even when I'm shooting film and cannot review them on the spot. Of course, there are sometimes surprises, both positive and negative. Those "missed the focus by that much" to use Maxwell Smart's expression (sorry, it's an old TV show, called "Get Smart"), and those rare images that didn't make an impression while shooting but just jump out at you when you see them developed. However, I can usually pinpoint the three or four best shots before seeing them.
Below is a case in point. I was initially attracted to the water droplets on this lotus leaf. As I was working on different angles and approaches, the shadows and textures became much more apparent. In fact, the line of the shadow taking on approximately the shape of a yin-yang symbol finally popped into my head, and I captured it. To me, this embodies how I felt about this place, this moment, and myself, photographing lotuses on the grounds of a Buddhist temple. I knew I liked this one before reviewing it.
Lotus Leaf and Water, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, 24-85mm f2.8-4 Lens
iso 100, f16, High Dynamic Range (HDR) composite of three exposures