10 February 2010

Look at your feet...occasionally

A fellow photographer friend (let’s call him Will) was telling me a story about a group photo shoot at the SLC Main Library (http://www.flickr.com/photos/clayhaus/3955090258/in/set-72157613429118501/). (If you don’t know this building it is an award winning modern structure with enough movement and interest that it won over this die-hard lover of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.) While the other photographers were scattered about getting the best angle on the sweep and flowing lines of glass, concrete and metal, Will was aiming his camera at a puddle. Someone came up to him and said: “With this beautiful building in front of you, you shoot a puddle?!” Will said something to the effect of: “There are plenty of others to shoot the building…no one is capturing this puddle.” Now, whether this puddle was ‘worth’ capturing is not the point (and perhaps a subject for another post).

Another example: Ansel Adams was shooting with his friend Brett Weston. In those days Brett was carting around a 11 x 14 field camera while Ansel ‘only’ had an 8 x 10. So there is Ansel setting up for one of his gorgeous zone-system-to-the-max landscapes and he looks over at Brett and starts laughing. Weston had his massive camera pointed at a pile of leaves some 5 feet away. If you have ever seen any of Weston’s foliage shots, you know THEY were worth it.

The photos in this post show 3 different examples of looking at a scene. All were shot at about the same vantage point at Cardiff Creek, just below Donut Falls. However, each photo has a very different feel. I’m not saying which is “best” – though I have my favorite – just that as landscape photographers we shouldn’t always keep our eyes fixed on the horizon. Scan the skies…then look at your feet!


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