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.

Eclipse 2017

Eclipse 2017
Eclipse 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

You Know it When it Happens - Photograph with a Purpose

Photographing with a purpose in mind helps you the photographer to focus on the task at hand without getting all caught up in the X's and O's of the game. Many times over the years my photographic efforts have tended to take the approach, well, let's go out and see what happens. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it does not. In recent years I have shifted somewhat away from that approach, mostly, to focus more on creating one single style of image...in other words, I go about it with the intended to purpose to capture a certain type of photograph...a personal vision of sorts.


Photography is about a great deal many things and creating a personal vision ranks very high on the list. Almost every photographer I know develops their own personal style and style in the visual arts is influenced by the personal experiences we all have. In just about everything we do, we can discover analogies that serve to define what we do. For instance one axiom about photography I've learned has a direct connection to all the bass fishing I managed to do over the years. You see, you may find fish-holding structure without bass, but you will never find bass without structure. The same applies to photography. You may experience great light without capturing a great photograph, but you will never capture a great photograph without great light.


Photographing with a purpose does require a shift in the way we go about taking pictures. When photographing people, what I try to do is to continue to take the photo idea further with each photograph. The idea of taking the photo further is something I picked up watching a Joe McNally video a few years ago. He was reviewing and commenting on some photos submitted by individuals. On one particular image he said some good things about it then he said...Don't be afraid to take it further...push it...look for a uniqueness and do not settle when you think you have got it.  


That idea has stayed with me and as I progress photographically, I find myself wanting to do more, wanting to take the image to another level. I try to visualize what my finished product will look like when all the ingredients are there...and when I get there...well, I just know it when it happens...yet I still believe there is always something more I could do.