Moving Mountains

May 19, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

You can move mountains.....with your feet. Trees, buildings, sea stacks, sun and moon, with ease.

I mostly think of my images as arrangements. At first, I thought I had finally coined an original phrase, but soon learned some very admired photographers hold the same concept. Arranging the elements in your image requires movement, sometimes necessitating significant effort. Whether opening up merges, changing perspective, or placing elements more precisely in the frame, the key is to do it without your tripod, and sometimes without your camera. For some reason, a tripod once planted, too easily becomes immovable. Moving left and right, up and down, forward and back, and testing focal lengths are essential to an image that gives you that "Yes!" moment. It may include getting back in the car and trying another location.

Since this is an experimental process, be prepared to capture your image from multiple set-ups, some being only minor adjustments. The most difficult thing to do is move your camera once it is on a planted tripod. Ironically, the best image may be realized when you have made that final adjustment requiring a move of less than a foot in one direction. Resist the tendency to accept as final, the first tripod location you use. A very hard thing to do I know, as I have subsequently looked at my monitor and said, "Why didn't you move 6" to the right?", or lowered your tripod a foot, or (insert here)

The beauty of taking time to arrange the elements is you consciously, and then sub-consciously, become immersed in the moment and place. As you begin to slow down, you start seeing with a new and changing perspective, which will often result in a "How did I not see that before" revelation....especially in a familiar location!

Cecil B. DeMille once said of a filmed sequence, "Include it out!" By movement and arrangement, you control which elements make the final cut. 

 


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