In my late teens I used to wander the streets of New Your City with my camera snapping photos of people on the street. I never had anything planned when I would go out shooting. I’d pick a general location for where I’d be walking, but I’d be willing to change direction if something interesting caught my attention. Taking photographs for me was a process of discovery. I would walk and watch with my camera in my hand and when something or someone grabbed me, I’d quickly raise my camera, set the exposure, focus, shoot and move on. It was the continual process of discovery and the excitement of the hunt that made photography so exciting for me.

I approach photography pretty much the same way now. I pick a place where I think it will be interesting and fun to wander around and take my camera and tripod with me. There are times I have a particular image in mind, but it’s rare that I get what I think I’m wanting. I just look and watch and enjoy the beauty. When something grabs my attention and I think I can make a photograph of it, I do.

My new Nikon D800 has amazing dynamic range and I’ve been taking advantage of it. This morning had a sky that I thought would produce great color, so I decided to photograph the sky with the yellow leafed trees of fall in the foreground. With this camera, I new I could get it all with one exposure.

However, as usually happens, mother nature had different ideas. It was a bit windy and I didn’t find any compositions with trees and the sky as compelling as what I was imagining in my mind. But I love being out in the morning, and as long as photography is a process of discovery and seeing things afresh, I always find something to photograph. Whether they’re great photographs remains to be seen, but I always have a great time when I approach photography this way.

~ by danbaumbach on October 20, 2012.

2 Responses to “Discovery”

  1. I like your approach to photography, Dan. I am drawn into the first photograph and like it a lot, except I want to see more of the crowd on the left or get closer to the man, who is also interesting. The last image is a real keeper in my opinion. I appreciate the soft subtlety of the sky against the dark landscape, as well as the simplicity, yet delicacy of the tree and tones in the sky.

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