A Skill Worth Learning

June 4, 2015

I’m not very good at the technical stuff of photography. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a student of the trinity of photography; aperture, shutter and ISO. I understand how they relate to each other and the creative possibilities they open up for a photographer.

I’m not a student of pixels, APO lenses and whether Nikon is better than Canon (besides I shoot with a Sony).

However there is a very important skill that I’m trying to refine. It is the skill of NOT taking pictures. Let me explain.

On an outing to Fox Run Regional Park in Black Forest I determined that I was going to work on macro photography, that is, closeup photography. Now that I have decent macro lens I thought I’d give it a shot.

I didn’t take one macro picture.

It was a beautiful day so, strapping my camera bag to my back, I started walking a trail around two ponds. A bench overlooking these ponds invited me to sit while keeping my camera in the bag. After sitting for a few minutes it happened.  I took out my camera and things went downhill.

I like the pictures that I took that day and enjoyed writing blogs related to those pictures, but if I had it to do it over again, I would’ve paused longer on the bench and taken fewer pictures.

I know that sounds odd, but I’d like to develop the skill of taking pictures of what I’m seeing.

The emphasis in this skill is “seeing.” I’m beginning to understand that art of taking pictures (good or not so good) is first about seeing. Taking a “good” picture shouldn’t be my goal, but to see what God has placed before my eyes, then try to capture what I see in pixels.

“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 English Standard Version

It is important to see this truth before clicking the shutter.

So, here’s my advice: Take your camera and put it in your bag. Go sit on a park bench, beach or grassy knoll and don’t touch your camera for an extended period of time. See what you’re seeing. Afterwards, take out your camera and carefully frame what you’re seeing and adjust your camera settings. Take one picture and go home.

I would then love for you to post that picture on the Praying With The Eyes Facebook group page.

Happy seeing!!!

Copyright Douglas P. Brauner

You Might Also Like