Solitude of Photography

Intersection Rock & Joshua Trees, Joshua Tree NP, April 2017

Intersection Rock & Joshua Trees, Joshua Tree NP, April 2017

I know it sounds strange to say, there is a sweet solitude in photographing.  Most of us bring our cameras to group events such as sports games and birthdays. Spend enough time studying the craft of photography and you start to learn that to embrace the core of your subject, you need to see more than with your eye. You need to see, feel, and experience what you are photographing. 

What I mean is, when I'm with a group of people I may feel rushed or self-conscious about taking the time to photograph something that caught my now trained eyes. Often I take my family with me out to a location for a shot, they sit in the car and read or what YouTube while I try to take the time to get the shot I want. There is a nag in the back of my mind that they are getting bored and ready to go. It stunts my experience. I hope to get over this feeling because it is sweet to share experiences with those we love or connect with. Perhaps, practice. 

On my recent trip to Death Valley, we came across at least two scenes that grabbed my eye and my "soul?" I didn't take the time to stop and it still haunts me.

At the heart of it, this means there is a flow point in taking photos that are a new level. The level of connecting with the subject, being in the flow, and being in the present moment. A spot where I have focus and groove about what I'm photographing. Often a spot some time into the exploration of a scene where I have clear direction on what I want to photograph and how it lines up in my mind or vision of what I think I want to photograph. There is more to photographing than just recognizing something is photo-worthy. More than seeing an interesting shape, or a feeling in how the light falls. There is a language to the scene before me, one that often doesn't have a straight-forward primer.

Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.
— Minor White