Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to look at it more closely. 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 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.

The Jeep

The Jeep
The Jeep

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Essence of the Moment

One of my favorite refuges is to stand alone on a high knoll inside the tallgrass prairie. One can discover moments of the heart while standing thereEmotional Images such as these are difficult to convey inside the visual elements of a photograph, but that is exactly what I always try to do...capture the Essence of the Moment.

You see photography is more than taking a picture of an object, it is about capturing moments of the heart. This may be one of the most difficult concepts for novice photographers to grasp, maybe even for a good number of advanced photographers as well. The Essence of the Moment is about capturing what you feel and less about what you see. One of the biggest mistakes novice photographers make is to think they have to capture a subject exactly the way they see it when in reality a photographic work of art rarely exhibits visual life as an exact capture of visual facts. Instead, a photograph should capture the emotion of the moment and become a visual point of reference as to why that moment was important. There is no single best way to accomplish this. Photographers must first understand what the concept means, be willing to alter or adapt their way of seeing, and then develop their own techniques that fulfill the desire.


A good writer is able to 'show' through words the emotion of the moment in his story. An inexperience writer tends to 'tell' his reader what is happening. The same holds true with photographers. The good ones instinctively understand how to 'show' what they are experiencing visually. There is a big difference between a photograph that 'tells' me about an object from one that 'shows' me why that object at that moment was important. The images that 'show' carry a hint of realism across a pallet of light filled with color, texture, contrast, vibration, and purposeful composition.

It has been said that all photographs contains two people in them. The first is You the photographer as it is a representation of not just your technical skill, but your emotional being. The second is the person who views the photograph, for they always project a part of themselves into the moment of the image. A photograph capable of pulling the viewer into it making them wish they were there or stirring an emotional response from them is a photograph that captures the Essence of the Moment.

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