Taking the shot is the least important part of photography


I’ve spent the last hour and a half in the subway and buses to get here, to New Jersey But I think it was worth it just for this view I wanted to be here earlier, but it is what it is I’m still grateful to be here, it’s beautiful The weather is not exactly what I was hoping for I was hoping for more clouds, it’s supposed to be an overcast day That would help me simplifying the background But of course I’m taking long exposures to do that I’m starting with 2 minutes and see how that goes I might have to combine a few of those 2-minute-long exposures into 1 Because my idea is to create an image of the skyline showing just the silhouette of the buildings Black or very dark buildings against a brighter background. That’s my idea. And that’s why I came here for sunrise I’m going to keep working on this image, going to be recording some videos I just came to New Jersey only for this image, so I hope it works out As I said, I would’ve preferred to have had an overcast day, or no clouds at all but it’s partly cloudy, I don’t think you can see it now Even though I’m going as long as 4 minutes now, the clouds are still there visible Of course blurry, with movement It’s kind of cool, not exactly what I wanted, what I had in mind for here Now, I’m trying an 8-minute-long exposure so that should help a little bit more I’m liking the results, it’s just not exactly what I wanted But my weather app says that is going to get cloudier, that is gonna be overcast in a couple hours So I’m gonna stick around here, I’ve already made the trip here to New Jersey anyway I’m just going to walk around this boardwalk, probably stop for a coffee and look for other spots around here. Not of this view necessarily because I don’t think it really matters I wanted to capture an unobstructed view of the skyline so it doesn’t really matter where I position myself I’m going to get more or less the same I’m going to use this trip and this image that I’m making today to illustrate a point that I wanted to share with you today And it’s that this that I’m doing right now, taking the shot, is in my opinion I believe the easiest step in the process, it’s the easiest part of photography and I want to argue that also the least important part of photography I’ve been here for almost 5 hours now The conditions keep changing and even though it’s very sunny now again, It was much cloudier just a few minutes ago and I actually think I got a few shots that are very close to what I wanted to what I was expecting when I came here I’m happy with the results I’ve got, I still have to look at them on the computer, of course I hope they work out, but I think all the effort, time and money invested to come here was worth it These images were not made here, right now, though These images are the result of a long process Yeah, there are some big waves now I got very wet earlier, and the camera got wet too These images are the result of a long process that started yesterday when I was in Brooklyn and I was making the images of the skyline, or try to I didn’t love those images because the buildings were being lit up by the Sun Brooklyn, that part of the skyline, is facing east Also, I didn’t like that much that part of the skyline, it didn’t feel like New York to me So I knew I had to find another spot and different conditions to make that image happen I did a little bit of research but most websites recommend the east side for skyline views, like the Roosevelt Island, Queens or Brooklyn but the other day when we were driving to New York I got a glimpse of the skyline from this side, from the other side of the Hudson River and I thought that it would be a much better spot for me, for the image that I wanted to make I looked for good locations on this side of the river on Google Maps I found this boardwalk that looked pretty nice, I used Street View, too So I knew what to expect, and I knew that I’d find a spot to make images from here Then, I had to figure out which subway to take, and which bus to take All of that means that I was able to be here at the right place, at the right moment The conditions were not ideal, but I have a very limited time in the city I don’t have an option, I just had to come here The settings I’m using, the camera gear I’m using, are completely secondary And they don’t matter that much I’m using a 5-6 year old APS-C camera with a very cheap lens This whole package right here is $500 I’m stepping the lens down all the way to f/22 and that is a big no-no in landscape photography because, you know, you lose detail and you… you can’t do that I believe that if you are at the right time, at the right place you can use whatever camera you got on you, and you’re going to make a great, fantastic image Having a full-frame, medium format camera here, with a much better lens and using the right aperture or whatever wouldn’t have made this image that much better I believe that the idea and the effort and the time that you spend to make that idea happen are way more important than the settings or the camera All right, so it’s the next day, we are in Brooklyn We came to the Brooklyn Bridge for sunrise, not because the images would be any better I think they were, but also because there were fewer people So I was at the Brooklyn Bridge a couple days ago, but it was during the day and this is just another example of how it doesn’t matter if on that day I had the best camera in the world, with the best lens, or the best settings or whatever It wouldn’t have mattered, because it was full of people, the weather was less than ideal And today, this morning, where there were just a few people running, a few people taking pictures Even if I only had my phone the pictures would have been much better Ok, it’s too loud here For me, photography is a process that consists of 4 basic steps Planning the shot, taking the shot, editing or post-processing the shot and the fourth step is delivering the shot, that could be a print, digital file or whatever Now, every photographer is different, some photographers enjoy more some steps of the process and some photographers enjoy more other steps of the process and that is completely normal Some people really like to plan their trips, their shots, to the T and they follow a very strict plan, they follow a schedule, they need to know what they are doing Some people really enjoy the taking the shot part of it: setting up the camera, adjusting the settings, metering the scene Some people enjoy editing in the darkroom or on the computer and making that image a reality And of course the final process that is making a print, or even a digital file, whatever It is enjoyed by other people as well The point that I want to make here is that somehow, there’s this idea that the most important step of the 4 is taking the shot I want to argue that taking the shot is actually the least important step of the process This is my opinion, of course, everything that I say in this channel is just my opinion, it’s just my truth I don’t want to impose or make this sound like it’s preachy or anything like that But I think that most people focus on that step that is taking the shot because it’s the easiest one Planning a shot, having the idea about what we want to do Why we want to do it, that is hard Working on the negative or the digital file and creating that image that we had in mind when we started planning That is not easy either Once you are at the right place at the right moment because you had planned all of that because you had that idea, because you have the image in mind, what’s left to do? It’s just to place the camera and press the button And I agree, that’s very enjoyable and sometimes using certain cameras is very enjoyable as well But we need to be aware that that is the easy part of photography and maybe we should invest more time and money on the other 3 steps I wanted to talk about this now because I’ve been working on those images and I’m putting a lot of time on editing those images and I know that some people out there don’t like that because they think that whatever comes straight out of camera should be the final image and I completely disagree with that, I respect that opinion, I disagree I think that editing is just one more step of the process combined with the planning, and taking the shot, of course the shot that you need to create the image afterwards Everything is a whole process that is called photography

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