Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

Prairie Sunrise

Prairie Sunrise
Prairie Sunrise

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is Your Photographic Attitude?

I went out one day recently to photograph whatever I could find…my heart just was not in it…as a result my images reflected that attitude…they had no purpose…no energy…no life.  Over the last few years, as I write about photography in whatever form it takes as a storyline, one thing I’ve come to realize is that photography…inspired photography…relies as much on attitude as it does all the other aspects of the art form.

That opens up a thought…do great photographic moments generate a great photographic attitude…or does a great photographic attitude allow you find those great photographic moments?  When I reflect back on those times when it just wasn’t working for me and evaluate the situation…well, most of those times were generated because my heart just wasn’t in the moment…for whatever reason.

Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photographer and motivational speaker, once said something to this effect:  Too often we take the wrong approach to finding great moments…we tend to take the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ approach…when in reality we should be taking the ‘I see it, because I already believe it’, approach to photography.

What he meant by this is that when we believe that great things will greet us on any given photographic journey, then we will begin to see them…we will find those moments that nature offers up to us no matter how subtle…we can look beyond the obvious and find inspiring beauty in all things.  We simply must believe that they will be there…then...we will find them.  If we approach the art form from a hopeful attitude that something might be worth photographing...we prevent ourselves from opening our minds and our eyes to the subtle things that nature presents to us.

That concept is as important as understanding all the technical and compositional elements of photography.  If we are unable to see, or more importantly fail to look for, the opportunities that are there…then it really doesn’t matter how well versed we are in our technical prowess…we’ll never capture those moments because we are blind to them…our attitudes effectively place shutters over our creative vision and we simply overlook what is there.

So…what is your photographic attitude?  Think about it…believe amazing moments will be there…you’ll be surprised by what you might discover.


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