I recently had an email conversation with a friend who asked my advice about photographing a particular scene he had come across while hiking. He was frustrated with the photographs he made because he felt like he wasn't able to capture the beauty of what he saw. I admitted that this is actually one of the reasons I do not like landscape photography very much - it seems like I can only make boring landscape photographs. I can relate to the frustration. However, after giving him some suggestions of a few things to try, I came across this blog post by photographer David duChemin. I love this advice from his short blog post:
"Don’t allow yourself to be seduced by your subject matter. A beautiful scene isn’t necessarily a beautiful photograph." He goes on to encourage us: "Instead allow yourself to be seduced by, and fall in love with the light, the moment, and the geometry of the frame."
When I first started really concentrating on photography and learning about light, I felt like the world was new. Potential photographs were everywhere! In other words, I paid attention to how the light fell on things and I noticed the beauty in the things around me everyday. One of my daily prayers now is that I will be more aware of my environment and my surroundings. I don't want to surf through life without taking in all the little beautiful details. I want to find things to love about every moment.
What are your frustrations with landscape photography and what tricks or tools have helped you to make the photograph you want?
And finally, how do you make yourself slow down and take in the fleeting moments of your life?