Reviewing Images from Gas Works Park


Vision-Driven Photography


Lesson Info

Reviewing Images from Gas Works Park

We're at a gas. Were parks, gasworks park take him it's uh, it's really interesting is that it's an old? I don't know what it is. It's an old collection of crappy machinery story for you is about just her and the rim light on there don't be afraid of getting close, so you're getting everything else out of the frame. That's been pride of peanut, all brightly colors, bright colors and stuff and this morning's been interesting. We've got a model and we've got this thiss hardly that that we've been posing on, and there hasn't been a specific purposes, not that we've come here and said, you know, shoot this or shoot this my thing I love to do is give people just enough creative hope to kind of hang himself with and so people have been shooting. Some people have been shooting the textures and the shapes and lines other people have been exclusively photographing the model, and really I only gave some instruction in the very beginning, which was to shoot with some kind of intention to explore ...

and to allow the process to kind of kind of take you over a little bit, what if be sitting, yeah, a lot of great like shapes, I'm interesting pictures, um lots of really cool like details on all the buildings and everything like hell there's like little tiny circles and things um lots of really cool lines from the wires just all kinds of great stuff gasworks park seattle is where we're shooting in the middle of you know what this is old boilers that air painted by children with handprints and paint and dirt and a harley and a model at six a m and just looking for something a little bit out of the window if you don't know what that looks like yet so I'm trying to find the right spot with cool lighting and then get a handle on how my exposure's gonna look for that uh and I'm also working with no reflector no external lighting and so this sliver of light here I had a second ago I think is diminishing already so that probably is not gonna work by that time I think so often that when we're in search of a vision way one idea in our head and we fixate on it and it's important that you kind of begin to explore because sometimes you're your vision you think what that vision is on then the more you photograph the more you realize that actually that that vision of a place the morning direct with place and explore it can change and evolve just justus we do and so this morning that's been sort of part of the exercise again not a strict thing that we're looking for so much as on interaction with process and t c and to play and to to do a lot of asking question what if profoundly embarrassing stuff? Um, before we go any further, I I just wantto put up tonight when we do the switch on the monitor, uh, we're gonna look at some of the photographs that we took this morning and kind of discuss that, so I'm going to give you guys a heads up. What I'm going to ask you is to talk about what you photographed this morning and what the process was like for you before that I'm putting this up just for those of you that are at home that would like access to my books, many of you, this is your first introduction to me, and I've got the print books that have written, but I'm also really committed to this idea that you can improve your photography without buying gear. And so I've created this thing called crafted vision dot com it's, a website where you can buy e books written by myself and some other photographers. They're all very inexpensive e books pdf format and actually come by the hour ipad, aps, but the pdf format e books this weekend using this coupon code, and if you buy five or more, you get twenty percent off so if you're inclined to kind of now you're already getting to free if you sign up and by the curriculum now but if what you would like us to some great value uh crafted vision dot com used the the coupon code vision driven that's valid until the end of this weekend so I'll leave this up for a couple of seconds and then I'm going to take it down so write it down um in a moment I'm going to put up the images that we took this uh this morning so we went in pretty low tech I mean, we had a model we decided to bring in chris's motorcycle last minute we didn't have lights we didn't do the strobe us thing we certainly didn't do the mcnally thing we were just working with what we had in order to kind of engage the process a little and then in the end I gave you one ah an assignment for an opportunity to create your own assignment. Talk to me a little bit about this morning. How did you find it? What did you think about it? Um did you find the process going in a little more intentionally? Did you find the exercise helpful? Tell me kind of a little bit of it maybe even about your frustrations what was this morning like for you using the blue microphone? If you don't mind well, I um this morning I actually ended up having a lot of fun and it was she says surprised way when we got there I thought it was a pretty similar environment to where we were yesterday in terms of it was more um oven industrial feel and more of an urban feel a supposed to um you know well we were on the water but as opposed to like being on a beach or something like that that's more um I guess has more nature just you know, this is more man made stuff so I wasn't entirely sure um what I wanted to to have is my vision for this and what I wanted to dio so um having an assignment from you was extremely helpful for me at least because I was able to say okay, I'm gonna focus on on this one thing that I've picked out and then I you spend time going through and I went through and I did that and then that kind of expanded into more of another theme for myself too so it turned into this whole kind of um what I had, you know, keywords that I was thinking of that I wanted to try to capture and to try to kind of catch that that mood and that theme that I had in my mind but using what wass in front of me which was very different from what I was trying to so what was that motor that team what was which are your images lets one way. One five, six, seven, five, six and seven. Okay. Okay. I thought I thought I thank you. Um and so what was the what was the assignment you gave yourself? Um, well, I picked three colors that picked a bright orange and yellow card, which you can I mean, obviously tell. And as I was going through all the different areas and looking everything I've been painted, I saw that there were these bright flashes of colors. And in my mind, it almost when it's shot up calls like this it was coming to me, kind of like it was sort of a carnival, just like a fun, colorful environment. And then against this starker background so that's what I was trying to kind of encapsulate, or these a little, um, moments of color and happiness, I guess. And I mean, just looking at these three photographs, um, from the moment you sort of started shooting red, orange and yellow to the last ones, what did you find that process kind of look like they did your did your images of that of where we were shooting, did they change from the kind of the beginning to the end, yeah. Yeah, absolutely I mean, when I first started I think the one on the number five on the left was one of the first ones that I did and I was focusing I was like, well, I'll just go find all the cool looking bolts that are red or orange or yellow and see what I can find with that and then as they went through I found more different areas in ways to do you know, combining more of like a foreground with a background so thinking on I guess I was thinking on more technical terms how can I kind of work these things into it without doing it the most obvious way? So that was something that I sort of, you know, experimented with throughout and then also just kind of branching out and trying different ways and from different angles in ways that I wouldn't have necessarily gone for the first time. Okay, um one of the reasons we did the exercise that we did was because very often you will you will go to place especially when you mean this is just it's not like we all took a vote and said, hey let's go to the coolest place we're gonna find let's go to gas work part it was kind of thrust upon you so to expect that you show up on dh have any even any kind of reaction to this place is a little bit unrealistic, but when you go to a place and when you're in your hometown to give yourself a creative exercise where you're almost saying you're removing the option of picking your own vision for a place and you're saying this is what you're going to shoot, you give yourself a theme and then that's when when that choice is removed from you and I'm for example, I picked blue and I just that's what I shot was blue, so I really didn't didn't shoot our model. I didn't photograph the bike, really, I just want around photograph blue, but within that haven't given myself a theme. Now my creativity is able to go okay what's my how do I want to express blue and that's? What becomes your intention or your vision on a micro scale? Obviously I don't have yesterday we talked about macro and micro vision, I don't have a macro scale vision for the color blue it's not it doesn't feature in my world for you prominently, I just happen to like colors, but when I'm going with this theme blue aiken kind of really explore that cause I don't have the option to explore yellow or orange or photograph the motorcycle just photographing blue so I walked through my process and a little bit but I think at home if you're beginning to sort of wrap your mind around some of this vision stuff this is one of the best things you can do when frankly you know sometimes you just home is boring and you may not have a vision for home but to give yourself a theme I think so tightly restricting what you're going to shoot actually gives you much more creative freedom to pursue a vision for that and find something because you're not always going oh look you know, something shiny you're focusing on that thing and I think I mean I you've said it was helpful did anyone else find that exercise giving you that constraint did you find it helpful? I did I did I normally when someone puts a constraint on me obviously my first responses okay, fine I don't really want to do that I mean it just that's my first response is you're limiting my creativity and I and I I don't like that but then I know that I often find things that I would never have found because I'm so tightly focused on one thing um even when we die you know when you asked what mine was I was like I'm kind of thinking about ah, and they think the word I thought it was broken so I was looking all these things that were broken and like that's it just go with it so it could have happened in hot probably for, like, ten minutes, which is probably why you came around and did that but so for me I spent probably fifteen minutes shooting all the broken stuff and then I was tired of everything being broken and so then I was like, okay, now kind of like yours did, like at first you started with one vision and then you went okay, I've kind of done that like how could I do it differently? So I started looking for like, where's the beauty and the brokenness, and so then one of my favorite shots I caught was this like the spider web that is where you can't even see the brokenness behind it but I know there's brokenness behind it, but it's all blurred out now you can see is this sort of spider web, so I don't know it was kind of cool to see that process that I went through just because of thinking of that one word yeah, I think it's really helpful, not it's, not important that your vision remains the same it's important that you allow yourself to go along with it is it changes and be mindful and be intentional about your photography because then I think you're giving yourself that tighter channel in which you're creative and then you get those moments where you go, I'm going to zigzag this way the six acts fine, I mean, don't don't disregard the fact that look, I could do this in fact, I think that's the purpose of it this is just a starting point. You give yourself a theme and if it thie end, you're photographing something completely different because you've been inspired great, I mean, the point is not to put you in a box a girl, you have to stay here. The point is to say, this is a great starting place start here and then when your vision gets too big for that box, then follow it like, see where it leads and if you end up going so far away that in fact now you should photographing hope, right instead of broken like, how did she get from broken toe hope? Well, actually that is part of your mackerel vision because you believe, you know that there is hope and broken this, and so naturally you're going to pursue those kind of avenues and that's, and now you know that now you can actually more easily build that kind of world view into your photographs, your stuff will not be purely bleak it will be bleak with you know with some shafts of light in it right because you believe that there's hope in that brokenness um cool um let's let's do one more um carrie tell us about your tell us about your morning um well I actually really like gasworks park and so I was drawn to like everything um but I ended up leaning more towards liking just photographing the water in the city as a background for my subject rather than all the like the industrial stuff just because like, it was a good opportunity to take up the whole overall view being so high up on the hill like that but everything I'm I was just really drawn into like shapes in particular because like on all the structures there were all those like little circles even though you did kind of like guide me towards choosing that like I was already noticing that there's like this pattern of like circles and even uh even in my normal shooting style like when I do ah shoot something like the background has all those like circles because I like to blurt out and it turns into that so that's just something I always like draw into without really like thinking about it but yeah, I definitely like got some really cool shots and I enjoyed it so yeah, I I think I think it's cool that you're aware that you shoot in that way like you're attracted to the you know to the I mean when spectral highlights kind of blow out and they create that circular you know the boca the bouquet does anyone else feel totally stupid using that word um just knowing that you're drawn to that kind of that kind of aesthetic is its that's another one of those things where you maybe put it in your little your little notebook of things that you know this is an indicator maybe of the direction that my photography is going to take you know what kind of aesthetics you like some of us have particular colors we like those are good things to take note of because they're indicators of not necessarily of our vision per se but they are indicators of some of the ways in which will probably most enjoy expressing our vision and so I don't you know I mean motorcycles and girls it's just not the kind of thing that I shoot but if I were to shoot it you know I would probably shoot it and you know and then I look at my visual my my own tendencies I generally shoot in softer light or in something maybe with some backlight or you know and probably not a wide complicated shot it would probably be a long shot you know, racked in I just kind of know the way I like to express things and that's helpful when you're trying to pursue your expressing if this stuff is complicated enough it's difficult enough if you already kind of have hints and suggestions of how you like tio express yourself those are things you should keep in the back your mind and then use them like I gave you the assignment of circles the fact that you then would employ some of those out of focus spectral highlights that form circles I think it's brilliant I mean you could actually have shot the whole thing out of focus just finding spectral highlights that form circles and that would completely blown my mind because it would never have occurred to me to have done that and that's what makes you and your vision and your way of expressing it totally unique you say to me shoot circles and I'm going to go in actually literally shoot circles right it's just kind of the way I am never think teo to do that sort of thing I am I wanted teo to talk a little bit about my process and but first I'm just gonna walk through some of the images and you kind of carry kind of cheated she brought her own model which is totally cheating but I thought that was really that was really creative not often someone would like got a model for because I got my own I'm just gonna go shoot over here okay see you later nice playing with you it was this a friend from from school or someone someone you kind of know I like how you kind of broke the rules here and pushed her you know, no was right up to the to the frame I think that's really cool. I've been noticing there's a trend lately, teo kind of buck some of these conventions, you know, tau normally you would suggest that someone look into the frame but the fact that she's looking out I mean, no, it doesn't guide your eye through the frame and does a completely different thing, it actually suggests what is she looking at? It suggests, uh, story that's unresolved and I think that's pretty cool. Um, you might get a little more dramatic effect on an image like this if you, uh, treated it a little bit differently, like, perhaps in black and white, and the reason I suggest this is this green is so strong and so compelling that I'm almost tempted to believe that this this frame is about green rather than about this girl where's, if you because color is very dramatic color is the character that jumps on stage and goes, I'll look over here hey, you know meanwhile there's serious stuff going over on over here, no one's looking at the serious stuff because you got the clown going right, so by de saturating it, you're kind of pulling jim carrey out of the script, and the ice can now go to something a little bit, you know, and, um, that would then make the gesture here and the emotion and the light a little bit more compelling, so not to suggest that you have to do that. It just might be one of those things you consider if an element doesn't contribute to the image and push the story forward. In my opinion, it detracts and it distracts. And you you should at least consider pulling it out and seeing if the story moves forward with it. Uh, whose is this? Well, as thea, the out of focus and the and the, um, the color is really, really pretty. Is this by that big tree? That was just great first thing in the morning? Yeah, that was when we had first got in there. I don't know, I just saw the can sit in there and I move the leaf over there. It just it kind of, you know, struck me as we were getting out. You know, this perfect place in morning daylight, then hears, you know, just trash and a beer can don't, you know? And the contrast is really great, I think contrast is one of those things that I mean in a in a movie or a story contrast is what pushes the story sort conflict is what pushes the story forward obviously don't really have conflict in a still frame necessarily, unless you actually have fighting, but you do have contrast and it's those contrasts like here you've got the conceptual contrast between, you know, the litter and there's just a beautiful, soft, natural light of place you would expect in a gritty urban shot to have, you know, a bureau can that's not really contrast, this is contrast, and it actually makes the presence of the beer can stand out even more. Um, I really elected the contrast between the soft light and, um and the cruel, with no head fighting that little man for probably a good twenty minutes when he was down there, there was just something of him poking out from behind cause even been chasing off all the other birds that was kind of him defending its territory, and so it just kind of struck me him kind of sticking out from behind the rail, and there was another one that was just him in front, but it just didn't quite I would love to see a little more of the crow you know like a little because my tendency is to do this it's not effective but I'm trying to look over the bar and I still can't see more of um having said that just because my tendency and just because that's my inclination is you know it is not necessarily relevant and critiques are only worth so much I love the lines I love the colors I would love to see him just coming and part of the reason I would like to see him coming up a little more especially after what you just said is there is kind of that metaphor of you know him behind bars and there's always just something kind of fun and intriguing you both out whether you're tryingto you know, tell some story about this rogue renegade maverick crow or or not just seeing a little bit more of him I think I would have liked but again you know it's your picture um all right smooth move through a couple more of these tell me about this who shot this that was he was well ok, so you've gone from crows to uh to our model and what were you thinking when you shot this just as I was I like the silhouette and I really liked the way the contour of her body moved up next to whatever piece of metal that she was against it just you know, as those two forms kind of moved together, there was something about it that struck me and then I like the silhouette was trying to jump that up as much as possible so this was really more about shape than anything else. Yeah, so as a result you have an image that's about shape you can you really can remove everything else you can crop it tight two to just to focus on the shape and um my thought on that it because you've just told me what you have and I'm not gonna play with that mess with that I love this rim light on her hair the challenge and that of course is that it's very close to my eye getting kind of caught in that upper triangle and if this truly is about this shape here, then pulling that crop in a little bit so that the silhouette actually joins the frame and becomes part of rather than looping me around then getting stuck because that's visually it's quite compelling I'm pulled to that that light I like rim light but then I get stuck in it and it's like my eye has been I almost feel like I've been lead in and then like aha, you're trapped you know, um it's beautiful, but if if that's truly part of the photograph that I would suggest you you know, you pull back a little so my eye has room to kind of get up on dh then come back around but uh we're not really doing this so that we have ah critique let's talk about this and then I'll just walk through my process a little bit was this year's as well? Okay, all right and what we what was uh what was going through your mind though it was kind of what we had talked about I know it wasn't in the video but we had this beautiful model and she was in her high heels and the dress and whatnot I really liked we had seen that it's kind of hard to see that picture I was messing with contrast but it says my girl with you because you know obviously really good spellers in seattle refugee um but um had put her in that light um to just kind of the juxtaposition of kind of this, you know, murky um kind of date place with this graffiti on there and especially I almost kind of like the fact that the girl is misspelled because it's just it's got this kind of um uh uh uh what's the word I'm looking for a un respectful quality to it um and to put her in there I really love how the dress is on her leg is, um uh transparent and so I had to take your shoes off and just kind of curl up there and had her, um, curler hands were on her knees to kind of give that aspect um of uh you know, just this, uh not insecurity but at the same time the look in her eyes to have, um, some strength there as well. Okay, what what would you say this this image was about if you were to put a you know, a theme on it, what is this about? Because the reason I ask because you've just told me a number of things that have led you to create this photograph, this was an accidental you set it up very intentionally, there's a number of elements you just talked about. You were trying to say something. There was something that was guiding your every action. So how would you describe your intention behind this? What we're looking for? I suppose maybe resiliency could be okay with best word I would. Okay, do you know what I I'm gonna tell you what I see, but I'm asked everyone else first and asked oscar because you work with teenage girls. What do you what would you say this image is about what do you see in this that's exactly what I see and what what makes you think that because she's in it in a pose of a child um and because part of her is in the dark so part of her is hiding and then the look on her face is one of of like fear of what's gonna happen unknowing and she yeah she just she's stuck in this light and she looks like she's alone and unprotected I agree and I think you know if vulnerability is you mentioned resiliency and I'm sure that you know someone like that if this was a character in a play what would have some sort of resiliency but I think the contacts and everything that you've put her in strongly speaks of vulnerability the shoes off very vulnerable, the kind of dress that she's wearing the fact that you know her strap is a little bit lower the fact that she's too there's a contrast between the fact that you know she's she's soft she's feminine she's younger and she's in this kind of you know harsh environment with harsh lighting and that kind of the eye is what is shown in the light everything else is in shadow there's a real sense of, um kind of hiding you know, she's trying to hide this like kid trying to, you know, hide from the monsters under the bed by putting on lee your head under she's got, you know, a little bit hidden in the shadows and and and that's, the reason I'm stalling on this is because that's the kind of thing when you become aware of what you're trying to communicate, then you make decisions because you could have made this very happy. You could have pulled her out. She could have done one of these. She could our sister back, she would look happy and sultry and model e, but you chose instead to do a number of things, including putting her in front of a background that told this story. So if you look at it is a one frame story and say what's, my plot, my plot is about vulnerability, then you've pulled it off really well on dh you've made choices all the way along, including, you know, the composition, you could have gone much tighter, and I would have been fine, but the fact that you've given it this, this there's a a more of a vastness, and that makes her smaller. If you had filled the frame with her, you would have had maybe a little more intensity of emotion because you would have that eye a little bit more. You would have lost that feeling of vulnerability and a vulnerable person almost by definition is, you know, a little person in a big space, you know that. That weakness in this presence of power or strength and I think you pulled it off really well here tell me what you were talking about if seeing the vulnerability I was trying to capture that but include this is because I was telling her it's like give me a really strong look of resiliency so how would you better incorporate that? You know, if that's the look that she's going to give me than um if you were trying to build in some of that resiliency um you know if that's part of the vision that you cannot accomplish how would you um you know is it a repositioning you're asking me yeah well her her look maybe very resilient but her body language is not her body language resiliency to me is about defiance and strength and this is not a strong body position this is this is this is ah position of um uh protection so self preservation right name was trying to capture both of those things the same way so I mean you've done well in in one sense but I really a frame can only say so much and you know, for the most part could only say one thing really well so if you're trying to say well it's about resiliency but it's also about vulnerability and then venice you know, make a movie in a fair but you can I'm not saying you can't do it I'm saying that usually there's a hierarchy of things you communicate if the most important thing for you is resilience and that defiance than her body position needs to be changed that body language is not about defiance, that body language you know, hands on the on the chest can be kind of protective, but it can also be very defiant, but this position is, you know, I mean it's getting to fetal and it's much more self protective so body languages is important and so hee, I mean, you've done a really great job you could make this a little more stark by throwing it into pure black and white and even a cooler toned black and white would make it a little because then the color temperature comes down it's a little less warm and yeah, I mean, you know, there's a lot of things you could do, but as it is, I think you've made decisions that have reinforced your vision that's what we're talking about just being intentional, not every situation are you going to have the ability to to figure all this stuff out and actually, you know, put your models and say look like this but you can always make decisions two's optics and orchestrate moments or even just record moments that take your vision and your intention and then expressed in the best possible way no it's great um I'm gonna quickly just jump teo because we're getting on in time I'll see if I can find my, uh my stuff and just quickly talk about where I went with this so I gave myself the assignment blue and some of these air not entirely blue, but the way that the process started for me and I'm going to do a couple walk through is on the way I do this stuff on the way the process began for me was just simply shooting literal kind of stuff that was there and isolating anything that wasn't blue what what I really liked was the interplay not just of colors but the colors and the shapes because truly if my assignment was blue and I wanted to only shoot blue, I would have just gotten really close and photograph something blue but that's not interesting to me, so photographing something like this, I actually really like the difference shades of blue and I liked how even you know these circles they you know, they go from a lighter blue to a darker blue as they go into this darker area I love just the place, so this is about blue but it's also about texture and it's about shape and that sort of thing and and I really like that as well, so I started there, but then I started to kind of move on and I saw the circle and I thought I really like that but I also this is, you know, face on but I love the as soon as you swing around that circle becomes much stronger and it provides kind of a lead through and again I'm not communicating anything huge if someone says, well what's your what's your vision for this my vision was blue that's that's it I did but I wanted to capture blue with some texture with some interplay with shapes and so that was kind of fun. Then I thought, well, blue again that the discussion if you want to show you know the litter and you really want a short print in a pronounced way you put it in a situation where it's contrast ing or something you want to so show something really, really soft put it in a contrast for something really, really hard. So my thought was maybe if I put it in contrast with these other colors it's pretty but it started to make me think about clown cars and, you know, clowns are scary, so I moved off that pretty quick I really like that because I love the just the very graphic, you know, interplay of lines, and but again, this is really not about blue, so I moved off that pretty quick and, uh and what I loved about this was suddenly it occurred to me and I wrote this and within the frame and forgotten it clearly was that the sky is not just an emptiness into which we shoot this guy actually becomes a block of of color that you can react to, so the sky is as much an element of this and as blue as as the rest on the shadow created a deeper blue, and I just kind of like the way the light kind of created and change the shades of blue on this already blue thing and and I played with the blue and texture this is where I started to have fun was shooting completely out of focus stuff and really, really enjoyed myself shooting just abstract blue is if you want to show blew it that's pretty abstract kind of concept. So why do you need focus again? Getting to that idea to take everything away that you don't need in this case, sharpness? I didn't need the subject to be clearly defined a hack I didn't even know what that what the subject was, it was some, you know, junky old piece of metal thing that someone painted blue, so the fact that it was, you know, this particular three hundred pound widget or whatever attached to a boiler, I don't know if it didn't matter blue was the point, and the shades of blue in the way they interacted. So then I I had so much fun, I was giggling to myself on dh one of our cameramen can attest to that, because it was still miked at the time. Um, and and so I just kind of started photographing the shapes and the way that they played with it. So I just put my lens on manual focus, and I unfocused and I started playing, and that, for me, was the process of discovering that's when I started having fun, and then I was then I discovered, you know, my vision of my intention, and I could have stayed there all day, shooting blue, and I probably would have gone so much fun. I'm gonna try other colors, and I would have come back from gasworks park without a single picture of a woman on a motorcycle, or even a discernible boiler with rivets or anything like that, because I was enjoying the interplay so much and the focus wasn't important, even the exposure didn't matter. It was a question of getting it to look the way I wanted to, so you could under expose it to intensify the blues. You could make these aesthetic choices, not because anyone's telling you, while the rule for shooting boilers is, it must be you just play until you discover what you want to express and this in this case was a self assignment I just said you know do blue but the journey of kind of finding that was a lot of fun I really really enjoyed it and so a lot of this stuff is kind of dark eye under supposed it a little bit and just played with theirs I don't know whether that was like a long string of bird droppings or what, but when it was out of focus it became it became this nice, you know, this nice form of of white and of course now everyone's going to know that they're like and I like it is once, um and then you know, just again playing with playing with the kind of forms and the reason I kind of wanted to end on that in terms of our shoot from grass gasworks park is because process plays a huge role in this kind of stuff. I think the idea that we go to a place or we go into a shoot or we photograph a wedding with just we go in with an idea and we just pull it off even if you're a commercial photographer I think it's very rare, very rare that you go in with one vision and you come out having accomplished exactly what you said you were going to because it changes as you're in collaboration with these elements, and your model will do something you never expected, and it may not be at all what you wanted, but then you think, okay, that was really cool, and you ask her to keep doing it or you think, actually, that really stinks, but it gives me an idea. What if we did this? And one bad idea actually leads to a good idea leads to a great idea the process is really important and it's it's equally is important that you listen to it. It we talked earlier about intuitive photographers. I think on some level we're all intuitive, at least in terms of our own process. You just need to become aware of it and listen to it, and you need to trust it when you walk into a shoot and you take five photographs and engulf. This sucks that's a sign that you're not trusting your process. You haven't let yourself because look, a look back at the stuff you shot before if I look back over when passed off, every place I've gone to, there have been challenges. I went to tunisia and it was really hard to remember the first few days of quiet this is I'm not going to come home with anything. Like this is going to be failure. How am I going to block about this? Fortunately, I'm fairly transparent I would come home and written about you know what a terrible disappointing ship it was and what I learned from this terrible, disappointing trip, it would have worked out okay, but that's not what happened in the end, whether I trusted my process or not, I just kept shooting, I kept working through it still convinced I was going to fail, but when it came back and I worked through my images, it wasn't what I thought I wanted at the time, but by the time I was finished with that experience and I look back, I thought, you know, actually, these images actually really well expressed how I felt and experienced this place. It was as much as I talk about intention sometimes is just trusting the process and it's it's understanding that your intuition and your instinct is strong and that'll change and it will improve and you can hone it. But to trust your process is really important because you can turn to someone and say, how should I do this? Carrie, I don't know what your processes, and if I say, well, I really think you should shoot this without knowing that you love the out of focus spectral highlights without knowing what you resonate with aesthetically without knowing all of that stuff. I haven't got the faintest idea, but if you're conscious of your process, if you're conscious of not only what you like to shoot, but the way you like things to look, you begin to shoot that kind of stuff, it gets better, I mean, you know, you're going to come home and you're going to look at your stuff and compare it to someone else and go it's, not at all what don't compare it, look at it and think, am I growing? Am I changing? How is my process? And the more mindful you are of it, the less inclined you ll be to kind of stick that square peg in a round hole and go with your process for some? For me, I know that I need to do stuff like this. I know I need to look at things out of focus, even if I'm going to come back to wracking the focus perfectly for me to go out of focus, and I do this a lot, even though I don't often show, um, the reason I go out of focus is because suddenly I'm not paying attention to the look on her face or or what this person's doing over here, I'm looking at the balance of shapes in a photograph, so you pull the lens racket way out of focus and you look what the colors doing are they doing anything if when you take it out of focus the colors all look hajji paaji it's a good sign that when you put it back into focus the colors they're still going to be haji podgy but you now you're distracted by details and you're not noticing what's going on so any tool that you can use to help your process and help you see your blind spots for me that's one of my blind spots I get so distracted by the moment and all that so cool and I start taking pictures that I forget that you know what the colors actually stink the light's terrible if you go out of focus and you know it was a big shaft of white across your image it's a good sign that you've been really distracted have notice that this person's got a big you know hot spot across their face so whatever it is that you you have to do to become aware of that process even if it's sitting down taking a break and taking a breather and looking at the stuff you shot in going okay this stuff's not working and this stuff is working let's pursue this avenue because again it's messy it's there is no secret there's nothing I can tell you this make you going to just pick up your cameron go capture your vision the way you want to it's going to be messy, you're going to play, you're going to creative exercises, and I strongly suggest this idea of go out everyday and shoot well, yes, if, if that's your thing, I don't, but go out every day and should give yourself an exercise it's like going to go to the gym every day, we'll just going to the gym every day is not helpful go to the gym every day with with a plan and with the training regimen and actually doing it intentionally is very helpful. So if you're training to, you know, to do a particular sport, you go to the gym to get better at that sport, exercise certain muscles, and you know what I know, but it's the same thing photographically and creatively, if you wantto exercise certain muscles to be good on a certain thing, then go and do exercises that improve that go out and shoot blue, shoot yellow, shoot, you know, shoot circles, whatever it is, but stretch those things so you learn to see, because once you've done a day of this, I guarantee you'll see blue everywhere, and you will see circles everywhere, and you tosser, we'll see brokenness and hope, whatever your theme is, you're stretching your ability to match that vision to whatever the world is around you and I think those air helpful exercises before we go on how how is thea internet doing? We got any questions? I have a comment from poo who says I love your advice david and they're blowing a flying kiss from across the planet to you flying kisses or my favorite that's keep it strictly platonic though they say god this man is so wise well it's a good way to start well, thank you uh what's there happened questions and similarly I do have a number of, um great comments um not as many questions right now. Um one thing that somebody suggested was asking people to describe their intent in three words or less that was uh no not saying that but just like as as an exercise of wondering what peoples intent was with the photos that we're looking at um I have a question like that the question is after watching parts of this, I like to know how you balance your vision and your actual shooting. Have you ever experienced that thinking too much about making the photo is makes it harder to execute, execute yeah, I think we talked about that earlier I think it's very important that you understand that you know, we're humans and we're fallible and sometimes we get in our own way and so yeah, absolutely overthinking it and that's, one of the reasons these exercises so good just to give yourself a subject, pick something at random, open a dictionary, you know, read an email and pick a word and just focus on shooting at a car, you know, I'll be there in ten minutes, just jumping into the car, the word is car, go shoot cars and do it in an interesting way for, you know, for an hour and suit, you know, soon you'll get the cliche stuff out of the way, and soon you'll be suiting shapes on a car or colors or suddenly, you know, I'll be shooting out of focus blue cars and you know, you'll naturally flow into kind of your own grooves and stuff, and I think that's a good way to get over the I think too much thing because we have our own blind spot, so when we do, we process and it's like we try to be so clever about things hey, I think we get in our own way, and sometimes you just need to kind of go out and, you know, just stretch and kind of limber up and not try so hard I think that's important, there was a good question there, I'm just going to jump on that that I saw that asks you know what about us younger shooters should we photograph was just gonna ask you that one there you go, should we? Well, maybe you could read it because I've forgotten the exact wording this is from johnny graham. What about us younger or lay thine shooters? Should we pursue vision right now or work on technical experience? Yes, thie the fact is that none of it none when you're learning to speak a language, you don't learn the language separate from trying to say something right? You don't teach a child just tons and tons of vocabulary he learns the language in context of trying to say something so he wants to say I want a cookie if he doesn't know the word for cookie, you can bet his desire for that cookie is going teo you know, he's going to learn that word pretty quick and I think it's the same way with the visual language. I think when you're trying to say something trying to you have a vision, you're going tto learn your craft at the speed at which your vision grows and your vision will only grow and as much as you can express it, so to divorce one from the other there's no such thing you can't just run off and work on your technical stuff without working on me I mean you can but then you come back and how do you how do you apply the two? You learn a language, you learn how you say things in connection with what you say and what you're what you're trying to say in concert with one s o if you're a sixteen year old photographer, yes, quoting, learn f stops, but don't learn it from a technical perspective on ly don't on ly learn it from a technical perspective learnt it from an aesthetic perspective. What is after point eight do for you as an exposure, but what does it look like? What does kind of image does that have to point eight two create in terms of depth of field? What kind of image or aesthetic does a longer shutter speed give? What kind of aesthetic does a particular lens give? Learn your aesthetics uh, as much as you learn your technique because we look at this so technically and if I could do anything for beginning photographers myself is a beginner, you know, years ago I would say stop worrying so much about technique, you'll learn that, but look at it through the eyes of aesthetics, what does it make the photograph look like? Because that's what we're the language matters that's where you end up saying something is what does that make it look like? Otherwise? You know, you're just you're learning how to create a perfect exposure and perfect exposures. Don't move the heart. No one was ever changed by a perfect exposure. No one ever looked at a perfectly sharp image went that perfectly sharpness changed my life. We are moved by more than that. Were moved by the stories that we tell through these aesthetics. So learn things aesthetically, not just technically. Okay. All right. Let's, let's. Kind of go on. I want to talk while we're talking about process. I want to talk about the idea of sketch images because this is something that for me has become really huge. The expectation that every photograph you take has to be a keeper is is it's absolutely paralyzing some people you go out and you think one there's no value in squeezing the shutter and making a photograph unless I can show a million people and get a lot of people on flicker going a great photograph. Um, it's rubbish. The fact is, many people. The process, as I said, is messy. Why not use sketch images? Look att painters they don't. For the most part again, I'm not a painter, but from painters that I'm familiar with, many of them do sketches in their books, they go out places, they actually take photographs and then they'll sketched the scene, so go home and they'll rework it, and then that becomes an initial painting and they scrape the paint off the canvas and they try again, and it becomes kind of a messy organic process according to the way that they work and there's no reason why his photographers we should not be going out on creating a vast amount of sketch images, shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot because you may see something really cool it's at the wrong time of day it's not quite the right person doing the right kind of thing. That's cool, but you have an idea and, oh, that's, really you click and as picture doesn't work, it wasn't a waste. It's a sketch photograph it's very much like a writer, too. Go back to the metaphors writers don't generally sit down and just go. I have an idea for a screenplay to critics using, and I don't know why we dizzying anymore with a laptop but my laptop buzzing when I'm done and and presto, you've got a perfect screenplay. Right most writers will sit down and that they might do an outline they might do a really crappy for a strafing might do three or four crappy first draft they polish it up they do a rewrite it's a messy, painful difficult process why is photographers we feel entitled to a hygienic sterilize process where we walk out we pick up our likea and you know we sprinkle little inspiration dusting we cling and presto, we have a perfect image I don't know so I'm a big fan of the idea of of sketch image is not only in one shoot like you could go and you could shoot hundred frames and then you start getting closer that thing you want to express but sometimes those sketches happened over a period of years. Every time I go back to katmandu I try a certain siri's of shots and there they often don't work but that's okay, I know I'm going back and even if I don't go back to katmandu one day I'll be in bhutan where the similar kind of culture exists and all of these sketch images that I've experimented with that I've played with that I failed on and I've learned some lessons suddenly the situation will be right, the elements will be there, the light will be right, the moment will be there and I will have done all the background work and I'll know, okay, this doesn't work, this doesn't work, this doesn't. This framing is important and boom, the time is right where my camera, the moment the light that everything is there and I can pull off that final photograph, there is no reason why we shouldn't be creating store houses of sketch images that no one ever sees, that no one ever looks at but are not failure. They're not great final images, so they fail is a final image, but they don't fail as photographs, they don't fail is part of your process. So I think if we looked at this as I was so preoccupied with the product, you know, this final image is my print, and I've got it, you know, blown up and big, and this is this is the product we're so focused on that that we forget the process that took me all the way through these images to get here. If you focus so much on the product, you're not going to focus on the process, and if it's the process that gets you to the product by focusing on the product and not the process, you're sabotaging your own creative work because you're not allowing yourself to get through all the way it's like a weight lifter. Again with the metaphors ah, weightlifter who decides he's going to lift, you know, he's going toe dead lift four hundred pounds without the process of training up to four hundred pounds and you walk in and you try to do it and you know you rent your back beyond beyond repair, you have just sabotaged your ability to ever dead lift four hundred pounds, go through the process, don't sabotage that, give yourself the grace to fail to try to experiment and get to the place where you shot so many out of focus, crappy shots of blue things that when you get to hear like I'm jazzed by some of these, are they great photographs of something symbolic or metaphorical? No, they're just shots of blue, but I'm really excited because I've been trying to get stuff that's a little more abstract, ah, little more impressionist and I'm totally jazzed about this, but I have done hundreds of shots, crappy blue sketch kind of shots and yellow and red and all kinds of so the folks at home are still kind of going it's still a crappy blue shot that granted it, but it's, my crappy blue shot and it's what I've been trying to do for a long time, I've been, I'm I'm entering my crappy blue period history will record this is the beginnings of that um so all of that to say there was a rule for process and don't sabotage it be patient with yourself especially you know that the sixteen year old that tweeted and for younger photographers I've been doing this now for twenty five years I still feel like I'm learning this I still on ly feel like I'm getting my mind around this and and if if I'm only beginning to understand my process after twenty five years of active shooting with a short hiatus in the middle there where I kind of made the switch from film to digital and it was kind of messy then we all need to give ourselves the grace to fail until learnt don't just fail and kind of move on fail and learn from those failures and then move on and create a create a collection of sketch images that you could go back to the almost the ones that got away the ones that you know they're almost there but they don't work don't don't heavily post process it kid yourself that they work right that's the unstuck filter mentality where it's like well picture doesn't quite work on its own but if I just apply this latest effect in hd are the heck out of it and I do this and then I sharpen this it's still a crappy image it's just a really heavily process crappy um it's right and and again I'm not picking on hd ardell it's just happens to be sort of the unsung filter of the day where someone comes on a new technique and go off I just if I just apply that it'll be good no won't it'll just be novel it won't it won't be good and that's where travel photographers make the mistake was we'd get off the plane and its new and all everything I shoot is good well no it's just knew I shot of something new and novel isn't necessarily good photograph it's just a shot of something new and novel you still need great light you still need a moment you still need gesture and color and all these things that go into making a great photo if you still need those things just cause it's new to you doesn't make it a good photograph um on the other hand these are new to me and I quite like them so you know that's the way it is um I want to walk you through one more thing and with apologies to those of you who watched my block and saw this recently but it was I thought a helpful thing when I was in when I was in new york city recently I I've been wanting to buy a tilt shift lens for a long time and I'm always on about how gear is you know a year is not the main thing but I never say gear doesn't matter of course, gear matters. If gear didn't matter, we would be we'd be out there with sketch pads, right? Of course it matters you need the technology to accomplish the vision. The point is which gear and the preoccupation with gear the gear is not the most important thing. The gear's always subservient to your vision. Your your vision is the thing that moves you to pick up the gear and use it in service of your vision. That's my point. So when I say gear is good, vision is better. I'm not saying gears bad, so I went out and all that very defensive about this I went out and I finally, after years and years by the shelter that tilt to be careful how you say that a tilt shift lens um and in not because I want to shoot architecture, not because I have any desire to straighten lines or anything like that, necessarily, but because I love the ability to change the plane of focus again, it's gives you a different aesthetic and every aesthetic, a different aesthetic tells a different story, allows a different for you to say a different thing, just like different chords with different kinds of music. Different instruments, that sort of thing. So we're in new york city mean that my manager and I and I took this till shift lens out, uh, not with the I had no vision for this. So vision aside, um, I didn't go down to this place expressly hoping to photograph street musicians. It was hot, I was wandering around, and this was one of the only spots that was kind of out of the glaring sun, and I thought, I'm going to go and see what I can do. So this was me discovering my vision as I went, I didn't go in with this preconceived idea, except hey, cool ends let's see what I can do with it? Because I I really have never played enough to become familiar with how to operate it and get that technology down and accomplish anaesthetic, so you can see sort of how this works. The focus plane has been shifted, so instead of it going this way across the image, it's now actually kind of pretty much going straight down the middle of the image, so that's in focus, and this is in focus, and this is in focus, but everything to here into here, so it actually allows you, depending on the way you you rotate, blends and up and down and back and forth and to change the plane of focus so it doesn't just do this, but it cannot cut across an image in this way or this way and khun change the way that lines go it's a very cool ends and I suspect it'll take me a long time to learn. However, as I was shooting this guy, I was still asking myself what's this story about you still want a good photograph? It's not like I just want to take crappy pictures with the new lens won't find something good, and people at home could judge whether accomplish that or not. But I want to walk you through the process, so I come down and there's this guy and he's playing his guitar, and it was a little odd because he's in front of this choir and a guy with an upright bass and I thought they were collaborating until they started singing different songs, and I realised that clearly they both got their roughly the same time, and this was a turf war and so he's singing, you know, bob dylan and john lennon and the choir behind, I'm singing lean on me, and it was very cacophonous and a little odd to be honest, but they were persevering through this bizarre situation, so I started. Photographing and I like this guy he's got this classic rocker pleather pants and it's you know acoustic and has got this neil young mick jagger kind of mick jagger kind of look so I started photographing and I just for me this is the messy part of the process I'm talking to myself I'm going ok that's not working that's not working someone walks through shot I'm thinking why'd you walk through my shot this is stupid why am I here? I need to get a little closer and so I'm playing I'm moving I'm playing I'm going up not down I get on my knees I'm thinking okay this now so now I look at the picture back here my reaction was okay this is good but I'm not even sure what I'm looking at here like who were these people in the background and this guy with the why're they and I just I wasn't sure so I'm moving around I think ok now there's more out of focus now the story's a little bit more about him and then I'm thinking what? I don't like that bag there and this visual like there's not a lot of separation so this is still this guy in front of all this clutter on what I was drawn to, the more I photographed this the more I realize what I was really liking was this classic guitar kind of iconic guy and this space was really cool the light was soft, the arches were cool, you'll see in a minute in the color images that I pictures my select, the colors were actually really beautiful in the soft light and that's what I was being drawn to, so I was recognizing that as I shot when I first went down here, really, I was just thinking you something to shoot. I wasn't thinking about what it was, so this is my process I'm going through, I'm getting a little closer and I'm playing with the filter or withy sort with the focus a little bit, missing my focus quite a lot, and again, I'm shooting a couple a couple frames and and then I think, okay, I need to start moving, I need to start shifting cause I'm liking his motion, I'm liking some of the elements, but it's still not playing together, I move again and that I've now got the focus going straight through straight into the exactly the elements I want out of focus, so I'm playing with the lens that I realised that really this choir has nothing to do with what I want to say, I'm not going to be able to work through it for what I want because they're not part of story like I just said, this is about this classic guitar guy and this cool space so if that's the case get the choir out of there and I couldn't just move them off they weren't models so I just kept moving and I kept shifting and I walked around and now I'm standing beside the guy with the operate based shooting this way problem solved now it's just this guy in his space and now I have to start thinking about some of the so I'm refining it I'm going okay? This is what I want okay, now this is what I want oh now this is and it's you see how it's getting my story's getting tighter and I'm excluding the things I don't want and so now people are getting in my shot I'm thinking how am I going to get rid of that? And and so one guy moves and this lady keeps standing there and actually that's not bad one of the reasons I like this is because this woman standing there and there is a sense that this guy's he's not singing to no one but he's singing to this one person and I'm not truly I'm not sure what's more pathetic as a comedian, you know entertaining on audience of none or entertaining an audience with just one person I don't know I mean I don't almost rather have no one there to witness my my failure now that's an implied story there were people behind he was singing to people but you know what you're saying in this frame? I think you imply certain things, so I wasn't sure whether I liked it or didn't in the end, I actually you'll see the final frame I picked actually cloned out there was a person in and I just photoshopped it, and people on video gave me all kinds of hassle about it, why you put a shop it you have no integrity, you're a bad man s o I'm working through it, and I'm what I'm liking now because I've got a framing that I like, and I like the lines that are coming through, and I like that the kind of point to him, I've got lots of architectural detail, and now I'm kind of working on getting, getting a bit of a gesture that I like and I'm liking some of the gesture, but the one thing that I noticed was that I'm not getting the ceiling and he was right underneath this really cool ceiling, which had kind of hiding all these, it felt like little lights and it was just it was a really cool setting. So I thought, what if I change the orientation of the story from a horizontal story where you're telling it's basically him and this imaginary audience to something a little bit more about him and his space? So you're telling this story vertically like this he had to try it right? You have to see if it works because when you're down that low you and you tilt up with your camera you get sort of force kind of perspective and I just I wanted to try it so this is just my process I'm not saying it worked um and again you get some you know? So here I'm beginning to get a little bit of a sense for some of his own theatrics you know, the way he kind of operated and and there were a couple of where he you know, he was kind of doing the mick jagger lips and and had a bit of you know and so this actually was one of the frames in the end that I really liked um I like this gesture better actually I will probably reprocess this one I like this gesture better in this one this one's kind of they say different things, don't they? I mean this guy this one he's looking at his guitar and ac and he's he's a little bit more into the performance this one here he's a little bit more contemplative so it's a question of what am I feeling? What story do I want to tell? My story may not even reflect the reality that the fact is he may have been singing a really rock and ballad and have just simply looked down in a minute and I'm telling now a story that makes it look like he's singing, you know, the soft, beautiful love story when really he's rocking out it just in this moment but that's okay? I mean, I'm not afford a journalist I'm creating a story that may be separate from the story that was actually playing in front of my eyes and so then I started teo move down a little I thought, well, this guy's a busker and there is something going on with because he would always say, hey, I don't mind you taking pictures, man, just put something in the hat someone would come by and start to get a man don't mind you taking pictures just put something that he had a thing going on with his hat, right? And so I thought I'd include that in the end I discarded it because it kind of felt junkie and it wasn't really if it was maybe a box or a guitar case, something a little more visually, but this was just a pile of crap as far as I was concerned when I say that on a pile of stuff and uh and so I very quickly kind of moved away from that into something a little bit more again horizontal where I came back up, got rid of the junk in his feet and started looking for these moments and I totally missing the focus because this new lands but I love this kind of he is, you know, it's hair kind of blowing back and again, the pleather pants were picking up some shine, and I was really liking this I love this one I love the gesture it's a wider it's a twenty four millimeter till shift so you get some of those more exaggerated lines if there's one thing I regret about this whole shoot other the fact that I kept missing my focus because I was playing, I would love to have got a little closer and I could have, you know, people like this, I'm usually pretty generous I put something in the hat that's, you know, maurine the couple bucks, he probably wouldn't have minded if I'd gone and quite close, you know, without bump in my lens in into his into his guitar, but that would be the one thing I would change, I would love to have got in a little closer and exaggerated those lines even more and again, you know, here he is cattle whaling um, some good gesture in it and that's the one I I ended up choosing because I really liked again, that kind of soulful kind of look, and you'll notice the difference between these two frames other than the color to see the difference right, so I've cloned out the guy on the side and again, I was just playing this was not some big, deep personal project, and someone is going to twitter about what a jerk I am, but, um, that guy was not part of my scene, I didn't want him in there, I could have waited for the moment, but again, I was playing this was not me trying to get this great, beautiful, epic world changing photograph, and it wasn't photojournalism, so I have no problem in a situation like this where I'm creating my own story in post processing, removing this guy just the way I do it now, I don't do it on my humanitarian work, but was a journalist. I wouldn't do it then, but this is just a photograph, so just don't get on my case, okay? Um, but I just I took one of my other frames, probably this frame in color, and I just patched in a little piece just to get rid of that guy and that's what I did, and if you don't like it too bad, um but that's kind of my process, and once I kind of nailed it or thought I hadn't again, I'm still there's some images in here like actually quite like this gesture, but now I've got these guys walking into his butt on the back side, so I would probably end up changing that and it just seemed like I couldn't win, no matter which someone will move here, and then I was like, oh, good off crap there's someone you know, and I just so that hence the reason for my unapologetic use of photo shop, which I rarely dio that was not bad, but again, the gesture isn't quite the way I would've liked and really mm, given the fact that I've captured these frames with no people in have I really changed the integrity of the story by well, no, I mean as a photo journalist, yes, but honestly, it's still a dude playing guitar in the setting? I haven't you know, I haven't changed the content of the image anyway enough about that that's a difference different that's all other podcast thing you have a question, someone abusing me already? No, not abuse, okay question, yes, so you just walk us through this whole process has been awesome, lots of great comments on that, and the question from two jacks studio is he says I finding editing my work difficulty how do you add it your images which was just kind of talked through but um and find the best ones but do you ever ask for other people's opinion or is it just when you're editing through a shoot um very often I like when I'm editing to ask other people's been in very often I think most photographers are are very poor editor's um in part because we're polluted by the fact that we were there and and and so we would pick a different frame then someone else would pick because we're affected by all the things that were around us all the things that we remember we didn't get in the shot all of these things the person that wasn't there is much more objective in this sense they look at one frame to another they don't know what was around us, they only see the frame and so they're much less biased and much less kind of contaminated by having been there and our memories and I think one of things we can do to to prevent that is actually give ourselves time before we doing at it. We're not giving any of us time this weekend like you shot it now is it uploaded yet right on dh so you have to make very quick decisions I find very often when I come back from a trip I will do a quick at it, and I will get my stuff out there, and I like that immediacy, but very often, when I go back six months to a year later and I look through, there will be images that I had totally forgotten I had captured that, frankly, at the time I didn't really like, because at the time I was so concentrating on this amazing moment that maybe I didn't capture quite so well that I overlooked the kind of boring moment that I really got a great photograph of, you know what I mean? So I'll look back and and I'll think, wow, why didn't I see this the first time, like, obviously saw because I shot it, but when I did, my added, I just completely overlooked it. But it's, actually a much stronger photograph may be the moment when I was there wasn't his memorable, but the photograph as a photograph is much stronger. The moment that I captured is there everything ties in sometimes you only gain that objectivity by stepping back, and I know some photographers, my friend bruce percy who's, an incredible landscape photographer. He has this weird sickness going on where he'll shoot on lee film, which is bizarre to me. And he will get back and he will actually he'll get a process, but he won't look at it when he gets it back, like, stick it in a drawer and then one day you'll pull it one roll and kind of look at it, like, how can you get it back and not look at all of them right immediately? I want like, I want to be processing it on the plane when I'm coming home, you know? And because he is he is is this feeling? And I hope I'm not speaking on his behalf, but as I recall him saying he gained some objectivity about the frames, he's photographed when's there's some distance when there sometime between when he's photographed and when he's looking at it and so I think yes, ask other people, but also maybe give yourself some time, anything you can do to gain a little bit of subject story ob activity on your own work because we're also affected by our feelings and our thoughts and images that we think actually fail. Others may say it succeeds because we're using different criteria based on having been there, having not been there, having known the person ah photograph of someone you know, that you're shooting. You may know them ago us on a good picture of them someone else doesn't know that because that's a great photograph because you're looking for different things you have different criteria in evaluating it so I find that very helpful when you and show it to someone and ah lot of photographers I know we will bounce our work off each other and go do you like this one or this one better? Because I not sure and it's really heartbreaking when they say neither so choose your people carefully at they all suck, okay? I thought I thought maybe they would um so there's there's a few more but um, you know, at a certain point you get to the end and you realize you've kind of exhausted yourself and you come up with new ideas and I knew when I got a few of these that I'd actually got the expressions that I wanted I kind of still like this one, you know, I wish that there was a little more room I wish I had a little more depth of field they're they're a little blurry, but I kind of like this gesture and maybe not these people here but there's enough in here that I felt like it exhausted and frankly, you know, I was getting hungry and hot, so we went in had a drink somewhere but that's kind of the process of going from beginning to the end where I'm thinking and not allowing yourself to sabotage that process because your vision comes progressively sometimes you don't know until you halfway through the shoot all oh yeah that's it right like it's it's like a revelation it comes to you you knew the elements were there and there was obviously something that was drawing you in should recognize you couldn't have said I am imagining a photograph that has a rock and roll guy in a kind of ah funny baroque setting with soft natural light and you're not thinking that just something has drawn you too it so it's sometimes it's not until halfway through when you've worked it out that you kind of ok that's it and then you know and then you can begin to kind of finesse it. So um any questions about about the process and the reason I came there was because of the idea of sketch images all of these that don't work they're not failures just sketches there me working through what I've got my frame, the elements, the light all of this stuff in the new lens to get a photograph that is even close to what I was feeling or seeing at the time these are not failures they may not succeed as on their own photographs, but they succeed in the sense that they got me where I was going and that's what? You know that's what makes it you know that's what makes him valuable I think any questions about that question in the audience so what do you do with your sketch image is so you I understand the process of taking them is like a sketch but then it sounds like sometimes you may go back six months to a year later and well yeah, I will I will often go back and just look at my foot and now some of them I recognize purely a sketch images and I'm just you know I'm working a scene and and sometimes there's gold in there that I didn't maybe c so I keep everything it's just me whether you call them sketch images or not you know sometimes sometimes you don't recognize them as that and sometimes you think they are sketch images and you go back and it turns out you missed the gold entirely so I keep everything I very seldom to lead anything uh now I delete obvious total junk right? Like if they're blinking there they got a crazed drunken look in there you know, phase I usually delete that just purely so I'm not into you know, incriminating anyone later but hard drive space is so cheap and there's no reason for me to be constantly deleting stuff and two there's a chance that I'm going to delete something that I didn't want to so I'll do a first elite delete the totally obvious crap, but then I keep everything else and I've got now, you know, terabytes of dr space full, but like I said, it's got cheaper, so I just keep. And so another question I have is I was just watching chase jarvis's video about hiss workflow, and he says after his suits that he goes and reviews them like that night, so that it's fresh in his mind, and you're kind of talking about thea doing the opposite, making anything, do both you're saying, do both, I'm saying, do both, I think, what are you doing in each one like, are you just picking them? You're just getting a sense of what you did, or you're yes, baron it's, both a bear in mind that that chases shooting for primarily for commercial clients. I mean, not always, but in terms of what he's talking about, so you're under time constraints, you really don't have a choice, you have to go see if did did we get the shot or didn't? Because if we didn't get the shot, I know what we're doing tomorrow. We're getting the shot if you did get the shot, will tomorrow work moving on because you've still got shots and you shot less, so there is a a need for urgency and you have to be able to look at it and usually someone's peering over your shoulder. You've got an art director, you've got a client, you've got a producer, someone and they're going, yes, you got it. No, you didn't. You've got people to bounce it off, but in terms of personal work, I think there is a great amount of value. Yeah, you look at it. You see how it worked because I often will go if I was staying in new york city for a long time and wanted to photograph this crime or I would go back and I would I would say, you know, did I get it? Didn't I? And the next day, if I didn't get it, I would go and I probably would wait until you stopped singing. I'd introduce myself. I would ask him, teo, you know, if he would mind me shooting all afternoon and I would tell him what I was and I would be become a little more collaborative and go here is kind of what I'm thinking. So if you want to go rock and roll on me, you know, if you want to play mick jagger, really I feel for you tow to go for it that gives me that kind of freedom so I think there's there's a reason to look at your stuff immediately but there is value in going back to your stuff also later because like I said, we're not at our most objective immediately you khun have instincts and sometimes those instincts are bang on but you may have also missed some gold in there. So, it's, just helpful to look at this stuff now evaluated five start do whatever but you run the risk of losing some really good stuff if you just delete everything that's not a five star because again, with a little bit of thyme and a little there's ah, shot in here, I think I think I brought it with me. It's it's in a couple of the books now, um, that ivory nearly deleted and, um, that's, where is it? Okay, it's in the collections. So there is this ah, it was my first trip to india and, uh, I thought I had maybe I don't, um okay, well, say it's this one anyway, it's and this is un completely unprocessed, so I haven't shown you the final image, but, um, this is a photograph I shot in in ah nizamuddin in old delhi and it's it's just it's these two men having chai and initially I almost passed over and it wasn't till I came back leader that I notice sort of the you know him staring and and the kind of decapitated woman there that I actually initially didn't like and the more I traveled in experience india, the more I liked it because that's very india the two men are having chai and the woman is almost kind of anonymous in the background not to make any judgments about it I'm just simply saying this is how it iss because repeatedly as I travelled there, you know, the men were doing their thing, the women would serve them chai and they would be a little bit, you know, they wouldn't have an identity in some senses again, I'm not making a social commentary, I'm just saying this is the way I saw it very often, so I came back to this a year later and went, oh my gosh, I nearly deleted that like I was going through my stop going, you know, and I actually had it, you know, xed as a reject, I just hadn't cleared my rejects, and I'm really pleased that I didn't because this has become one of my favorite images because it tells more about india, but like I said, it was one of the first thought's ever took in india so how do I really know what india is like a year later I've traveled in india a few more times I go okay, I saw something that first time that I didn't recognize in the edit, but now I look at it okay that's really that's that to me is india, whether anyone else again were there anyone else likes it or not isn't the point to me it's a really powerful image and and it's one of those shots that I could have just delete it because my first impression was who look, something is better just because another picture is better than this one doesn't mean this isn't a good photograph and that goes on in the edit. Sometimes you're looking for the five stars you're looking for the best ones and again, just because this isn't a cz good as another image of something different that I shot the same day doesn't mean this isn't a good photograph and that's what sometimes happens? We get polluted by the really good images, the ones that jump out there, I can't believe I shot that it was a camel, you know? A year later you've seen so many camels you just you're going to die if you ever see another camel, so that camel image isn't quite so novel, but this is a lot more universal it's a lot more powerful stuff I just encouraged people don't don't be too hasty, and you're at it to delete stuff because you never know when, you know your objectivity is being tainted by the moment, so when a client comes it's like mike, but when a client comes into the picture, then, um, like, for me, if it's a senior portrait or something, um, and there's for me, I'm looking at what I like and what I think is good, and my standards, if your eyes aren't totally and focus, sometimes I won't even care if it's a moment, if it's if it's, not, too what my standard of giving this image to the client is. But at least recently, there was a mom who said, I want to see all your pictures, like I already shot her to twin daughters. Now she wants me to family pictures, but I want to see him all. I want to get two twos, and I went, well, your friend, so I'll have this conversation with you, but I wouldn't have it within with a regular client, but but she does have some. She does have a point, because they're there things about her family and their connections that her standards, like maybe my standards, are five stars, and she would be thrilled with three star pictures and I don't want those three star pictures to go out of my studio, but she would be happy because there's moments or relationships or looks that I won't recognize but that she will. So how do you balance that when it comes to a client like with your personal work? It's fine, because you are the standard, but when it comes to someone else who is really their standard, I would say and again we're talking we're talking about a situation that if this was just a friend and not a client, I might have a different answer, but as we're talking about your standard and a client standard, I would say that you both have to be happy it has to be an image that matthew that meets both your standards. You don't want work going out that sub standard to you don't want to give it to a client, even if they think it's good, you know, just because someone thinks is good doesn't mean it is you're the expert they've hired you because you're expert at visual communication, hopefully, and so you want to give them the best work possible. So what I would suggest is find a room for compromise where you clear off all the stuff that's one, two and three star like get rid of it and don't show it and then say, here is here's all the you know all the work that I'm prepared to show you, what about the other stuff while they were you know, I mean, whether it was only a little out of focus or a lot of focus it doesn't matter it's just they're dies as far as you're concerned they never got taken they were never made they were sketch images, I don't show my sketch images but here's the closer and and then let her pick between those but I think you really know I'm in a situation where some of my clients get all my files, they get everything and I know someone that shooting for, like national geographic, they give them all their files, you know? And so you don't really have a choice and and so then you've got to be you know, you got to shoot a little more carefully, but those air those arrangements you go into before you shoot it's not like afterwards the client goes, oh, by the way, we want all your files, you know, going in, you're giving all your files to your client and so it's just part of the contract you give him, but if you have a choice, I would say the best possible scenario is that they get what they want, which is an opportunity to find some hidden gems they may be very helpful in the edit but not the initial edit they would be helpful in that final last at it where you say okay, now have twenty images pick from these and I will show you after that I will show you my favorite and you know, and that may sway them a little, but I would say hold back because it has to your visions still matters you can't if you think you're giving junk to a client, even if they're going that's, you know, that's really fantastic. I mean, if you're if you're a graphic artist, you're still not gonna wanna client comes says, you know, I want you to do an ad for me, andi want everything to be comic sans font and I want it to be, you know, and they're giving you specs and you're going, oh, my gosh, who never give that to your client? The question is, you know, is your taste up for sale is your vision up for sale, something people it might be for me long term it's not worth it if my client gets their hands on crappy files and bad photographs it's going to come out, you know, give them your best, even if they don't recognize that the crap is crap, you know, just don't even give a choice that would be my, uh it's, it's, it's. Important you're even when you're in the commercial world. I know it's, idealistic, and I know they're people rolling their eyes, and all my client won't let me do that. It's important that you be happy with your work. If you feel like you are selling yourself and not just selling is selling out, then you're not going to do this long term. You're going to feel like your craft is cheap. You're not going to like your work and it's just going to affect everything you do. So I say, protect yourself as a creative person as much as you can as you bring your product to market, and you don't do any favors by giving clients crap, even if they don't know it's crap.

Class Description

Join David duChemin, author of the best-selling Within The Frame, as he teaches you how to use your camera and the digitial darkroom to find and express your vision as a photographer.


Maros Matousek

I have just finished this great class and ended up with a notebook full of notes. I highly recommend this class to all who would like to take not only technically perfect photographs but more importantly who want to express their vision and create something that moves others. I read many books by David and still enjoyed and got a better understanding throughout this course.

Melvin Williams

This course may seem to drone on at times but I firmly believe that repetition or other restatement helps learning. I highly recommend David's course, his ebooks and his site. He gets to the important stuff about photography. He focuses on the conceptually tough stuff like vision, finding your own, and less on the "geek" technical stuff that, while necessary, is only a tool to accomplishing your vision, what you want to say in your photograph.

Phillip Ziegler

David is always worth listening to. The course might have been shorter given there was a lot of repetition and conversation that wasn't terribly interesting or valuable. But when it was good it was amazing. I learned a lot and it was worth the time and money spent.