Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Photographers Beware. Expect the Unexpected!

picture of cobbles and yellow lines in a spiral 'Ah ha!' I hear you cry. 'If we expect the unexpected then it becomes the expected doesn't it stupid!'. I would of course blush slightly at your candour and say that this was exactly my point. Confused gentle reader? Then please bear with me and I will endeavour to make myself clearer.

The picture on the left was taken on a grand day out around Liverpool with wonderful fellow photographers
Paul and Magda Indigo. The company of the Indigo's was as always splendid. However the weather was not ideal and nor where various other minor circumstantial inconveniences. As a result of this the photo opportunities seemed to be few and far between for me. At least that's how I felt at first.

This leads me neatly back on to the subject of my expectations. As you may realise my problem that day was not lack of photo opportunities. Rather the problem was that I was expecting a particular kind of photographic opportunity. This slavish adherence to 'expecting the expected' was unfortunately blinding me to the plethora of unexpected creative opportunities all around me. This self limiting mindset is a great analogy for a great many things in life not just in photography. In all cases it only serves to cripple your potential. And deny you the ability to achieve what you could of if you'd approached things with a better mindset.

David photographed by Magda IndigoA much better approach is to expect the entirely unexpected. When you do this you will without doubt go out and find it. There are always images crying out to be taken all around you but it's only when your mindset is to go out and find them that you will create something genuinely original and satisfying.

When I took the picture of the spirals and curves in the cobbles I had finally put aside my preconceptions and expectations and allowed myself to look openely at what was around me. As it happens Magda Indigo was on the ball as always and produced a wonderful photograph of me taking the picture of the cobbles. So I have a unique double perspective on that moment thanks to her also expecting the unexpected. More of Magda's images can be seen in
Magda's gallery which is well worth visiting and often updated.


eolake said...

(I wish you'd post the images bigger. Like XGA.)

Very wise, David.

Funny enough, on yours and mine latest day around Liverpool, I took several nice photos of cobbles and lines.
I'll try and post some soon, maybe one today, on

eolake said...

... OK, done.
(Fast enough for ya?)

Chris Shepherd said...

Indeed you're right. Sometimes I find it best to just take a load of snaps and get the obvious shots out of my system - then I can relax and study air-vents, cobbles, shadows,light, etc, etc.

Paul said...

Magda says thanks for the mention.

As usual you raise many good points. My photography mentor, Obie Oberholzer, had a wonderful saying when an unexpected moment would pass me by. He'd shake his head sadly and say, "If you miss it, you miss it."

Always be ready. Now when I'm out I've got the instincts and trigger finger of a hunter who hasn't eaten in a week. Shoot first think later.

Good blog dude.