No matter how many landscape photography tips I read, when I am in the moment and some incredible scene evokes my emotions, I still tend to act without thinking things through. In these moments, all those landscape photography tips go out the window. Yet, these experiences bring me the greatest insights. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we have to talk about sensitive subjects -- the things that perhaps you and I would rather not discuss. I know -- your ego is bruised, but, please just know, it's OK. It happens more often than you realize. I know that you don't want to hear that. I know that all you are thinking is, "But, this isn't my first time doing this! This only happens to the inexperienced ones!" I understand how you feel, and it's OK. So let's talk about it. Let's talk about...premature logistication.
Don't bother pulling out Webster's. To my knowledge, I made it up. But sometimes things need made-up words to get the point across. Besides, the play on words makes me giggle.
So, imagine...or, perhaps, remember...a moment. THE moment. The most incredible sunset you've seen in your career. You've been shooting all day. Your last battery is trickling it's last bit of energy. Your last card has room to stuff just one more photo. Perhaps you are so excited by what you are seeing, or so fearful of screwing up the experience. Then it happens - kablooey! You press the shutter before the time is right. Then, to make matters worse, three seconds later, the light changes, and you realize that you took the shot too soon. No battery, no memory. That's it. Gone forever.
Premature logistication is when my technical side overtakes my creative side before my vision is complete. It happens to me all the time, in every aspect of my life. I get so wrapped up in the perfection of the vision, and the emotional excitement of living that vision, that I immediately roll up my sleeves, and start figuring out the nuts and bolts of it. I tend to rush things, because that vision is so incredible. So powerful. So awesome. I take 20 photos of the same scene just to get it, just to feel it. Then, I get home and see that I've managed to miss a huge branch in 1/3 of the photo...all of them. Twenty photos of a big, lurking, ugly, stupid branch, with a hint of gorgeous fuschia and cobalt blue sky in the background.
Son of a bitch.
I will be the first to admit that it is hard. It is very difficult to maintain those emotions so they are captured, yet ensure that the technical aspects of the image also capture those emotions. It is very hard to make that dividing line, while still keeping the boundary blurred somehow. Usually, my response to one side or the other is, "Screw it. Whatever happens happens." Those are the dismissive thoughts that I later regret.
I have yet to successfully master this aspect of my photography, but my plan for this year is simple -- to add one more to my supply of landscape photography tips: stand back for just a few seconds. Take a breath, put my head down and think things through. Don't be overwhelmed by the excitement, or the anxiety. Just go slow, and, eventually, it will become second nature. There will be another chance -- there will be a second opportunity that is perhaps better than this one...ten-fold.
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