Blog #122 What’s Your Hunting Strategy?
In last week’s blog, I shared a number of self-improvement strategies for photographers. The astute reader will note that there was zero mention of cameras or gear. I love cameras and I love gear. However, buying a new piece of kit simply does translate to better image making. It could, however, get you excited to get out there to shoot more and THAT might lead you to making better images. The camera doesn’t make the picture, you do!
Anyway…When you are behind the camera and making images, what’s your hunting strategy? Your workflow? Do you roam the streets wearing headphones and throw the camera into someone’s face to make a “Street photo”? Do you walk slowly around urban streets keenly aware of your surroundings and ready at a moment’s notice to Cath the perfect snap? Maybe you prepare for days for that six hour hike over the mountains to catch that amazing sunrise or sunset while schlepping a tripod and related gear.
We all have these patterns and workflows. They help us to develop a keen eye for seeing and preparation to make the picture, that “keeper” of an image that makes it all worthwhile. You might be the type to practice pre-visualization. Pre-visualization or visualization is when you think about the image you want to make and sort of “see” the final image before you even make the image inside the camera. This is a technique that is directly application to portraits or landscape images.
Street photography, on the other hand, dictates more of a candid and organic workflow. Are you a trapper or a hunter? Trappers wait for subjects to enter their pre-determined interesting scenes or backdrop and make the photo when the insect enters there proverbial web (frame). Hunters, will move through buildings, parks, and streets ready to pounce, so to speak, with the camera on the unsuspecting subject under the optimal and spontaneous.
Do you set rules or boundaries for yourself? Perhaps you take only one roll of 36 exposure 35mm film, thereby limiting your frames and forcing concentration and a healthy dose of caution before pressing the shutter release. Digital image making is unbound by frame numbers so long as you have the battery and SD-card space. You can shoot 36 pictures or 3600 pictures, it’s up to you.
The point of all of this is to consider how your work flow begins the camera might be helping or hindering the quality of your image making. Maybe you’re shooting to often, or not enough. Maybe you’re making too few or too many images on a given shoot. Maybe you need to take the AirPods out of you ears to aid your sense of seeing instead of being distracted by listening to music.
There are many strategies that work and some are better than others. Think about this as another way to improve your creative diet. With the proper care and feeding, your creative self can only improve.
The light is always right.
*Images: © Jeremy H. Greenberg
Where: Tai Kwun, Hollywood Rd., Soho, Hong Kong
Subject: Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Arts
Gear: Nikon F100 + Nikon AF-D 24-85mm Zoom Lens + 35mm Black and White Film (Silberra 120 + Double X)