The Daily Snap – September 27

©Darwin Wiggett

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Photography is easy when you are presented with ‘low hanging fruit’ such as a mountain lake with big peaks and theatrical light. On my photo tours, if the light is right I will take people to these kinds of iconic locations where the subject is obvious and the photography is easy. But what happens when the light is ‘drab’? You know, it’s a gray day, a bit dreary and you can’t even see the mountains. Then what?

During this last fall tour we had plenty of days where most photographers would just stay home. Dreary, gray and windy. As the photo location guide on these days I took people to waterfalls, canyons and forests. In these kinds of locations this ‘drab’ light shines to show detail and intimacy. But it is hard for many photographers to see the potential of a gray day. This is where craft won’t help you, but knowing ‘how to see’ will separate the technician from the artist. If you have difficulty learning to see maybe try the Creative Vision Masterclass we are offering in November.

At first the participants were stumped but after awhile they began to ‘look’ and then finally ‘see’. All around them were beautiful photos, they just had to remove their expectations and their visual blinders. By the end of the week most of them could more easily find evocative images in any light. The lesson of course, is that ‘there is no such thing as bad light’… ‘only bad photographers’ (er… I mean, photographers lacking practiced ‘seeing’). One of the reasons I have been posting Daily Snaps with my point-n-shoot camera (currently a Canon G11) is so I can keep ‘tuned’ into to seeing. The point-n-shoot daily shooting is the equivalent of a musician practicing scales. I recommend it for any photographer.

3 Responses to “The Daily Snap – September 27”

  1. Great post
    I too have the G11 and bring the camera with me everywhere.
    As you said, trying and find things of interest (light, composition) in the ‘out of norm’ circumstances will bring the best out of would be photographers.
    Still a newbie and your daily snaps is pure inspiration
    Keep it up!

  2. I had this exact situation when I went to Lake O’Hara at the beginning of the month. Beautiful mountains and lakes…all covered in clouds that dropped snow and rain on us all day. I found that my shots on day one were generally just OK but on day two I found I was looking for shots beyond the grandiose landscapes and started getting some decent images. Heck…by day three I even got down in the weeds and started taking some macro shots.

    I guess the key is to be willing to let go of any pre-visualized images you have in mind and realize the potential in what’s actually in front of you.

  3. Hey Darwin,

    Love this intimate shot of the forest interior. I have always found it helpful to leave the expectations at home. It seems that when I head-out with some pre-conceived vision, nature throws me a curve ball.

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