PRACTICAL TOOLS TO SIMPLIFY IN THE FIELD
While the 15-minute timer method works for me in my office, it’s not practical in the field when I’m out photographing. The practice of focus, attention, intention and persistence, however, does. Call it mindfulness, slowing down, being present, or whatever you want. It works.
Do you need a timer? No, but you do need to take your time and be more deliberate. If you are one of those photographers who get out of your vehicle and immediately mounts the camera to your tripod, plops and starts shooting, please stop. You may not believe it now, but you will thank me later. Putting your camera on the tripod may make for an easier carry, but will not always help you get your best images. Why? Because you’ve already made choices before even assessing the situation or deciding what your visual goal might be. Consider some of the following techniques as alternatives.
BEFORE YOU START – STOP
Maybe you’re visiting a place for the first time and are overwhelmed. So, you start shooting and hope that you get something good to share with others. Or maybe you’re visiting an “old friend,” a place or subject you’ve worked with many times, and you know the drill. Could that be the “same old drill” on a different day? Perhaps, with a slow down and more intentional approach, you could be surprised with something completely new, unexpected and very different from your usual output. Resisting the urge to set up shop and start shooting right away will help. Take your time. Assess the situation, the light, your mood, the possibilities. Then, decide what you need to make it happen. So, yes, stop before you start.