I am reading a book now, called “The Mind’s Eye”, by Henri Cartier-Bresson. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest photographers in history. I am not sure if this is the book where he first coined the phrase, ‘The Decisive Moment’, but he certainly used it here.
However, I am going to mull briefly, on a different quote. However, I will mull only very briefly, because I think that it is deep enough for all of you to think about deeply on your own!
My passion has never been for photography “in itself”, but for the possibility – through forgetting yourself – of recording in a fraction of a second the emotion of the subject, and the beauty of the form; that is, a geometry awakened by what’s offered.
The photographic shot is one of my sketchpads.
The one phrase I would like to start with, is ‘through forgetting yourself”.
These days, when I do read comments, or questions posted by many people, I find that it is very much around camera angles, camera bodies, f-stops, lighting diagrams and the like. This is not to say that these are not important. However, they are a means to an end, and not the end in itself. It is when you are ‘in the zone’ that you take your best photographs, and more often than not – we forget this.
It happens all the time. We are so busy, often, with our own inner noise, that we forget what we are doing. Let’s talk street photography, for a change.
I started to take my best shots when I switched from carrying a few lenses, to using just the lens that is on my body. No longer was I always fiddling around in my bag, changing lenses and losing touch with the moment
The other thing that helped me a lot, was when I started to make human contact with the people I photograph. While I still do adopt the ‘fugitive’ approach from time to time, it is much rarer now, than it used to be. It gives me greater joy, because I have also looked a person in the eye, and exchanged a smile.
It’s when the heart and mind meet, that great work starts to be created.