In a recent blog post, the photographer David duChemin asks the question “What lens should I bring?” He then goes on to describe how he navigates the outcome he wants to create by looking at the possibilities and the constraints of the situation he will be in. But his starting point is his understanding of what he likes, that is which lens will allow him to make the photographs he likes.
Since I switched to writing daily on this blog, I’ve been using pictures I made with my phone. Earlier on I had started making these pictures regularly, enjoying the time out and the time in nature making them gave me. Every time I’m making a picture, I search for a subject I find interesting or nice. I want to create something I like. I voluntarily restrict myself most of the time to the landscape format and to using the phone. These constraints shape the possibilities I have. But they are also a result of my desire to be able to make a picture anytime I see something grabbing my attention. It’s then up to me, to make the best out of the situation and the subject I want to capture.
What do I like? Or said differently: What do I value?
What are the possibilities?
What are my constraints?
Using these three questions is not limited to photographers. They are universal.
They won’t answer every question you might have, but they allow to frame the work to come.
That is, they allow to look at the work from a “what if`?” perspective instead of feeling limited by the things which are not available.
Using my pictures on my blog has another advantage, every time I choose a picture, I can play with my creativity by finding something in the picture that I associate with the text.