Shell the Creative Process…

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While my workshops attendees are making their photographs, very often, I come to them and interrupt them asking this question :  » What do you consider to be the three essential ingredients on your Photography ? ».  For those who are beginners, sure, there no precise answer, for the others, most of the time,  it’s about a subject matter, a good lighting and for the most advanced : a good composition. I admit the question is not an easy one. As far as I’m concerned, my answer is « Simplicity, Emotion and Beauty » because I think a good lighting is a method more than an ending in itself, the same for a « good composition ». balancing an image will maybe result in a simple message but what’s the goal ? Create an Emotion !  There is this quotation from David Ward  I really like :  » It should be stressed that when I make an image, I don’t consult a mental list : have I included ambiguity ? Is this beautiful, is it simple enough ? Passion and instinct take over and it is only afterwards that I ask why an image worked…« 

A photographer’s technique is usually invisible in the finished work but the lack of visible evidence doesn’t mean that the photographic process is simple All good photographs are the result of some distillation of a scene in which the Photographer has evaluated each component, he had to decide which elements of the scene he would include or reject. Then, he had to balance these elements one with the others : Which relative weight this element should have ? Then comes the exposure… Where do we place the middle grey ? Do we have to sacrifice a range of tones ?  Do we want to sacrifice it ? Will it help in the simplification process ? The answers to all these questions are almost instantaneous and, with practice, quite unconscious.  I think this  automatism participates in what we call our « Style » : The more spontaneous, the more it comes from your  « belly », the more it belongs to what defines your perception and your unique relationship with landscape.

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