Gardner Hamilton was interviewed by Edmonton photographers Carey Nash and Kelly Redinger, who have created the ‘Lonely Photographers’ podcast. While talking essentially about street photography, Gardner provided distillation about what photography is and about the key attribute making one a photographer – a [photographer] is someone who does not necessarily go out with a mission, but someone who is [or becomes] mentally aware of when they have walked into a photograph. Gardner goes on to articulate the process of framing the shot, composition, about the need to be stealthy, about timing and moment – all skills needed for taking and making the shot. You make yourself vulnerable to a shot. You stop yourself and with your camera move into the shot and work the shot. The photograph becomes a gift of ‘seeing something’ for the first time.
In a drive to Kananaskis two weeks ago, there were many points of ‘recognizing a shot,’ those shots that could be taken, those points of becoming mentally aware of photographs that were available – frost covered, harvested farm fields at sunrise south from Peace River as shadows stretched across land, something not usually accessed by me in my usual travel times; bright yellows of hay bales and patterned swaths on farm fields west of Calgary; cattle ranches along rolling foothills in autumn colour moving into the Rocky mountains; shadows cutting into forested Kananaskis mountains along snowy ski trails high above in the last hour before sunset. These images were available in that drive – the choice really became about whether or not to pursue photography along the way versus waiting for the photography that could occur at destination. The images that follow are Kananaskis images, photography at destination – the three final ones are shot at night during full moon.
Listening to – ‘Crash’ and ‘Way Behind Me’ by the Primitives; then it’s on to the Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie’ and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Pink Cadillac’ and ‘Radio Nowhere.’
Quote to Inspire – “The Pictures are there, and you just take them” – Robert Capa
4 thoughts on “Walking Within”
I love that idea of “making yourself vulnerable to the shot.” These photos are lovely. Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours- I look forward to learning from you and seeing more of your photos!
Some photographers express what I’m talking about as the quality of moment (e.g. David DuChemin); for me, this quality found within a good photograph is about becoming vulnerable to the scene/situation/subject and finding the possibilities it yields for photographs. There’s an element of being drawn forward or into the shot – not quite an active metaphor of vertigo, but you’re pulled forward visually, closer, to discover, reveal (and perhaps play or find yourself at play), using your camera; ultimately, you find yourself aware of being within a shot. And, you learn to trust what you see … and the shutter opens and closes.
Thank you for your very kind words; and welcome to my blog ….
Take care 😉
I think for my eye, the Alberta 2 shot works best, The wide open foreground, with its gentle bowl shape leads you to the mountains, sharp edges and black and white lines make the contrast. A story leading you on into the picture, a path I would certainly follow.
Hey there, Jim:
With your mountain hiking, I’ve wondered what part of the Canadian Rockies would appeal to you.
There are better times of year to be chasing light in these mountains – I hope you’ll catch up with Jay and Varina Patel and their mountain images.
Good, good! 😉