The great photographers talk about the moment everything comes together to make a photograph.
They talk about how a photograph’s made rather than taken. This moment is what Thorston Overgaard calls “the moment of emotional inspiration.”
This moment is special. It’s the moment when a photograph captures life. When we look at street photography you are looking at the capturing of something that we see every day.
Why would we need to capture something that I could walk down a street to see. It boils down to documenting that moment or capturing those moments for the world.
I tend to want to show people my photos. There might be several reasons for that. It might be out of ego. It might be to show them something about an area. Or it might be to express a feeling.
All the great photos were taken by the photographer for the photographer. Take photos for yourself. Take photos because you see something in the moment. Take photos when you feel that emotion. That moment.
When we look at a great photo, we assume that was the only one taken. We figure that it was a moment frozen in time. One shot and the photographer moved on or the moment was gone. This is rarely the case.
You will take a tremendous amount of photos to make that one. To make one decent image that captures that emotion you were feeling. All the great photographers throughout history and those practicing today speak to this.
You have to take many photos to get a good one.
I don’t just mean many photos of the area or that day. I mean of that particular moment. This is hard for me. Since I’ve been shooting film it has become more difficult. If I was to take many images of one moment I could end up using a entire roll. It poses the question, “Is this moment important enough.” It’s ok to take one photo.
Take more of the moments you feel are necessary. Push the scene and take a lot more.
You will know when it’s appropriate. You’ll know when you have a moment you need to press further. Make the most of it. Capture its full potential. Its full emotional inspiration.
If you’re going to take your camera for a walk, look for opportunities. Let your instinct serve you. Invest in taking more. Take much more than you would think.
When I look at two photographers. I’m speaking to the day of digital cameras. Look at two people shooting with their cameras on a walk. One taking lots of photos and the other just taking one here or there. I can almost guarantee that the person shooting more will come back with better photos.
More opportunity presents more opportunities.
Inspirational moments arise. They will be fleeting. There are some that last and others that fade. A good photographer is ready to capture those moments.
Those moments that last should be worked. They can be worked. Take more photos. See what you can make the photograph do. We talk about not taking a picture but instead making a photograph. I think you can take an inspirational moment and make it last. Record it for history.
Document it for the world. People far too often pass these everyday moments. They can’t or don’t take the time to recognize or explore the people around them. The moments around them.
With each day you photograph, you will move towards something more challenging. This is what we like to do. We like to create challenging images that inspire. We want to capture the emotions of life around us. We want to capture that moment.
Sometimes that moment is fleeting and other times it lasts. All our moments are different and its up to you how it gets captured. It’s your duty to capture that moment and document it for the world.
It is your duty.