Monday, October 10, 2011

Testing a Vision

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Sometimes (it seems to be happening more frequently now) I'll catch a glimpse of a scene or of an object that I immediately know has potential.  It comes in a flash, even before I can name it and think about how to shoot it.  This recently happened a week ago when I was driving down a dirt road in Vermont on the way to my grand daughter's house.  There was a small structure, often referred to as a "camp" by northern New Englanders.  It was abandoned and in disrepair.  What caught my attention was a tattered American flag hanging on the front like a curtain where the door would be.

I drove by it several times through the weekend, but didn't venture out to photograph it until the rain stopped Sunday morning.

It was foggy.  From time to time a mist would begin to fall, lighter than a drizzle and not hard enough to force me to put my camera away.  I walked the third of a mile from my grand daughter's, shooting a few things along the way, until I got to the bend in the road where the camp was.

As often happens to me, what I start to envision as a finished picture unfolds differently when I actually start to shoot.  These are the best of the camp shots I brought back from the walk.  None of them alone captures the initial flash I sensed when I first glimpsed the draping flag. But collectively, viewed as a group, they come close to matching the mood I first felt when I came upon the scene.

Attempting to recapture an initial feeling fell short in this example.  But I took home a collection of images that nonetheless works for me.  The lesson gained is this:  Shoot when you have that flash of feeling.  To wait and return later to photograph can result in something different from what was envisioned.

Here's an article that deals with the subject of testing one's vision, from a very different perspective.

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