If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Attributed to Albert Einstein
Writers rely on keeping a notebook. It gets filled with story or article ideas, and scraps of ideas. Artists keep a notebook filled with small detail sketches, ideas for design and musings. Musicians also have a book in which words for songs, riffs and other musical factoids wait to be turned into the next great composition.
Photographers that I trained with keep, “Day Books”. A detailed set of instructions of how to light a subject, names and addresses, snippets of an idea for the next shoot, calculations of various lens/aperture combos.
I used to have, (somehow lost in all the transitions) the last day book of one of my mentors, (Probably one of the best Black and White printers of his day—Well at least I thought so).
All sorts of goodies were in there, here’s one “Bellows Extension Factors” :-). How much chemical to put in a certain developing solution. Bring home 2 bananas, a loaf of bread and a jar of plum jam, etc. You get the drift.
We also take a photo, move angle, subject, lighting, come back another day, all part of the collecting of visual notes. Sifting through those ideas surely has helped to prepare for the right moment.
A photographer who published 15 years of his day books is Edward Weston. Too expensive to own, and I’ve only ever seen one volume, in a library. Here is a site that shows some of his work. Caution there are some quite explicit images among them. Edward Weston Gallery
These days as a blogger, I keep notes all over the place. Some electronic, clipped from web pages, snapped out of books, handwritten in a note app. Also still use the old standard, Moleskine A5 book, and somewhere a Spirax wire bound student book. And the odd stickit note or two.
Here’s a couple that struck me the past week or so.
Vision: As photographers we are image seekers, and taking that view, life becomes one great romance, an amazing opportunity and journey to see marvellous things all the time.
Expectation: I go out expecting to see greater things, find new opportunities for visuals and experience fortuitous moments. It should bring a freshness and zest to my times behind the camera.
And so it was that #kneetoo and I found ourselves in the sunshine with a family of recently arrived Flame Robins at the Point Cook Coastal Park.
This busy young lady was hunting off the fence line. The birds at Point Cook, as at the Office, use the fence lines as there is little available perching space otherwise. This is open grasslands. Shrubs and bushes are non-existent. And the good people of Parks Vic have kindly mown the grassy verges around the fences providing an ideal hunting area for the robins. Not wonder they love it.
She jumped onto the post, and it struck me to move a little further along the fence and use a distant pine tree as a rich dark backdrop, and then I spotted the highlight of sky between the branches.
Looking for such visual occurrences, is indeed a great romance.