Quiet time

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

A few days back I came across a single statement that in photographic terms, has resonated more with me than anything I’ve read in quite a while. The statement, posed as a question by fellow photographer Steve Sieren, summed up a mood I’ve been feeling for a while now.

“Does every image need to scream? . . . It’s quiet time.”

Lately I’ve been noticing an influx of images that tend to rely heavily on over saturated colours and blazing sunsets to inject a sense of interest into an image. It’s seems no coincidence that any number of these shots trade the fundamentals such as composition and exposure for an all or nothing, blast your eyes out approach.

Many of the most enduring and inspiring landscape images I’ve come across are created in exactly the opposite conditions… when quality light acts as a brush, painting the landscape before us with raw beauty and emotion in a way that no amount of forced impact can impart.

Of course, there’s no need to shy away from those moments of intense light and colour, but it’s at these times when we should be more focused on ensuring we get everything right. Asses the situation critically and ask yourself, when the initial impact wears off will the image still endure, or will it be destined for that ever-growing pile of images that could have been great?

With those thoughts, my answer to Steve’s question of “Does every image need to scream” is a resounding “No”. Quiet time is quality time and I, for one, will always enjoy it.

The blue hour“The blue hour”
Canon 5D, 17-40L @ 17mm, f8, 120 sec


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