good photography day
24 February, 2006
At this point for me technically, photography is remembering all the things there are that I have control of, and taking control of them as required for the idea. They are kind of falling one by one–shutter speed with my metro long exposure shots, aperture with getting my f/1.8 lens etc. One fell today, I think– I finally got the “click”, the aha moment, of white balancing. I’d been leaving it on auto, and noticed that my nikon and canon flickr peeps control it manually cause they didn’t trust the auto. Hmm. So I did what I always do when figuring something out and took lots of “my foot on the metro” sorts of shots to try to figure out what the auto was doing in different settings. Didn’t click. So in Baltimore last weekend I just started changing it by hand. I’d often forget, or pick wrong. But today! Each time I’d move to different light I’d think about it, and choose the right one. It’s a fluency thing, feels like being on the brink of fluency with a language and every now and then breaking through. It’s a good feeling to get before you even get to work.
Then! There are these green mossy things growing in the light grates at the Woodley Park metro station. Believe it or not, they were a major factor in my current return to photography: every day I’d look at them, thinking how to show people what I saw, and what exactly I liked about it. Every new optic setup I get my hands on, I try it on this little bit of greenery. It’s not working well, what with the best tele length I have right now being only 80mm (effective).
Today, I was crouching in a particular corner reorganizing my bag. I looked up — and there it was. The angle I’d been trying to see for nigh on 6 months. Right there in front of me. Being all “Where you been? I’ve been right here.” (Or, maybe being all “I reveal myself to you! You’re ready for me now.”)
This is another example of mindlessness working alongside technique, isn’t it? I really need a word for that.