I’ve come to believe that great photographs result from combining and maximizing the potential of three ingredients…
– What you have
– What you know
– What you do
‘What you have’ refers to something tangible you possess when capturing the image, or that which is present around you. Probably the most obvious example of what you have is the camera or imaging device you use to take the picture. But it can also be something less directly involved in the image capture… like a compass that points in the direction of the sunrise. It is also the sunrise itself and how its progression through time affects the surroundings.
‘What you know’ is the information on hand – either in mind, on display or in written form – when capturing the image. Again, the obvious example is your knowledge of how your camera works. How to press the shutter, how to zoom a lens or choose an aperture setting. But like the previous example, it can be something as fleeting as knowing the hour and minute of sunrise that day.
‘What you do’ includes the actions you take to make the picture happen. Actually pressing the shutter button is an action, as is positioning yourself in a certain location prior to sunrise so you can begin snapping photos as soon as the time is right.