In my opinion there are two, and only two ways of being in the world: Judging and Exploring. I associate “hunting” for photographs with judging. You sift through the innumerable possible subjects according to an inner list of biases, and shoot what you “look for”. But it’s always the same, and often the work looks like someone else’s.
Sometimes that’s important; if you’re doing something editorial, for example, or delivering on a contract. But even then you find yourself shooting the same old shots. Increasingly it all starts to feel like work. I know because I’ve been there. In the early 80s I had a great career with the City. I was the Mayor’s photographer and I shot for Parks & Recreation. Challenging, out of doors, doing my thing, the whole thing. But man I got tired of it.
Exploring is a door into the unseen, sometimes the never-before-seen. It’s not just that the photographs from those sessions are vibrant and unusual; each of those sessions opens our senses and turns us into artists. The Greeks had a word for standing aside and allowing the unknown speak through us. They called it ecstasy.
The Shooting Workshops are all about mindful exploration, and sensitivity to our emotional responses to the spaces we encounter. We learn how to use good judgement by marrying your explorer with your judge.
I use a variety of techniques from warm up exercises to shooting without the camera, to in-depth discovery of a subject to playing with new forms. Here’s my “curriculum concept”:
- Mindfulness vs. Exploring
- Warming up: Designing from inside-out
- Shooting without the camera
- Different kinds of hunting
- Forgetting everything & playing
- Editing thoughts
- Refreshing oneself
- Finding The New
- Play with new forms
- Ordering the world according to your emotional responses
- Good Judgment
- Continuous discovery
- Marrying the explorer with the judge
I hope we get to shoot together. Just leave me a comment below!