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Some People Don’t Have the Temperament for Photography

spiritualized67

Western PA, US
3290 posts

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spiritualized67 Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas, most notably in Street & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 01st Mar 2007
Fri 17-May-13 06:40 PM | edited Fri 17-May-13 06:48 PM by spiritualized67

Regardless if you’re a street shooter or a landscape photographer, being mindful requires a certain temperament that some people just don’t have.

Being mindful in and of itself doesn’t necessarily ensure photographic success – although it may lend itself to a richer, more satisfying experience.

Of course, I’d like to believe that mindfulness can indeed open the doors of creativity – helping one transcend our photographs beyond an exact representation.

Whether we’re finding a painting within the chaos of a dense forest scene, or watching whimsical streaks of light and shadow lyrically dance across the landscape – mindfulness is less about looking, and more about seeing.

In layman’s terms, I’d describe mindfulness as being patient and keeping an open “uncluttered” mind to all the opportunities around you.

Being mindful is the difference between just breaking out your camera and firing away, and really taking your time - letting the subject reveal itself to you.

Mindfulness is about relishing in the experience of being there more than in just the physical act of taking the picture.

Case in point was my best bud Jeff who recently accompanied me for a few days of photography (on the tail end of a business trade show) to Valley of Fire State Park (and Red Rock Canyon) outside of Vegas.

Sure, he was enamored with the idea of joining me in the great outdoors for a few days of landscape photography. But after about an hour of wandering, it became readily apparent that he and I weren’t cut from the same cloth.

In one humorous exchange, he tracked me down around the next bend in the trail and shouted, “ok, I’m ready to go…what’s next?” I looked at him with a smirk and explained that I hadn’t even broken out my camera.

Surely many of you probably recognize this impatience from your own travels.

This type of behavior may help explain why photographing with one’s family when on vacation (or even with other photographers) can often be a challenge for the thoughtful photographer.

As the day progressed, it became plainly obvious that Jeff was bored out of his mind – and in an act of self-humility, admitted to me that he lacked both the patience and creative stamina required to be successful as a photographer.

Yes, not everyone is cut out for photography beyond the quick tourist snap – and many cannot see the point in photographing trees, rocks - or pretty flowers for that matter.

It goes without saying that lack of experience or lack of passion towards the craft can certainly impact one’s attitude and behaviors.

I realize that it’s unreasonable for me to expect others who don’t share my high degree of obsessive love for photography to feel the same as I do.

But I think there’s more to it than just a high degree of passion or creative inclination. I think some people just don’t have the temperament required for photography.

This is neither good nor bad, it just is. Ironically, I’m a relatively impatient person in my general life. But for whatever reason, I can slip into an almost Zen-like state when photographing.

For myself and all those other folk who share this contemplative approach, it’s the ultimate escape from ourselves, allowing us to exist more fully in the moment.

But for many others, they just don’t get it – and I’m not sure they ever will.

~Dan
www.danielstainer.com

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