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Do I really follow this when I take pictures?

The other day @akula wrote about a popular photo of his that he almost didn’t take. He noted that he had violated Rule #6 of Lomography — Don’t think — because he saw the shot, walked a couple of paces, and then went back to take it.

I have to say that I do this almost always but my thoughts are very rapid.

When I go out to take pictures, I am constantly framing the world. If a subject seems likely, I hold up my camera and check to see if it actually works. If it does, I take the shot. If not, I move on. There’s a clear violation right there. I have admitted to thinking about the pictures I take as I take them.

It happened in the four or so seconds when I composed this next picture. I got out of the car with my camera in hand and strolled onto the beach at San Onofre. There was a family playing in the surf. My gut told me that I had a good shot. My mind told me that I had to get the shot in a hurry. So I raised the camera to my eyes, checked it, and took it. Then I moved on.

Photo by emperornorton

I’ve seen what happens when I don’t think. As a hit or miss operation, my walks seldom yield good material. There are a lot of misses and very very few hits — sometimes none on a roll.

So I keep in mind something Garry Winogrand said when he was asked about the pictures he stopped to reload film or ended his work for the day. “There are no pictures when I am not looking,” he replied. Meaning, I think, that when you have the camera in your hand, your mind is active, seeking images. When you are done for the day, that process ends.

I would rewrite Rule #6: Think fast.

Never stop using your mind.

written by emperornorton

5 comments

  1. bravopires

    bravopires

    think fast is much better than dont think!

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. llcooldawe

    llcooldawe

    Think fast and all the time.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. auratus

    auratus

    Perfect! That's the Point

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. badjuju

    badjuju

    I agree!

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  5. waggrad00

    waggrad00

    Excellent Article!!! Seriously so true. “There are no pictures when I am not looking,”---couldn't have been stated any better. Note to self, follow rule #6 more. B/c I am guilty of thinking too much. Thank you for the heads up about this wonderful article!

    about 1 year ago · report as spam