Speaking of Barriers

One of the really fun and satisfying things about photography is how varied and personal a pursuit it is. 

We’re all drawn to and moved by different things, and that’s something you want to channel into your photography. It’s often said that photographs are as much about the photographer as they are about the content of the photograph.

This image was something that made me smile on my way to catch a flight at Denver International Airport…so I spent 3 minutes exploring a few different ways to capture this scene. Now, as you look at this, are you getting a feeling about who I might be as a person? I hope so. 

I find there are two barriers to really enjoying and to improving as a photographer. The first is not being open to all the things going on and how they are affecting how you feel. Take it ALL in. Editing is something you do after you shoot. While you’re out with your camera, spend less time judging and more time making pictures. Photograph whatever moves you. 

The second barrier is fear of embarrassment…as if someone is going to judge you for what and/or how you choose to photograph something or someone. Who knows? Maybe someone will. To that, let me just offer, “…and so what if they do?” 

I’ve chosen not to photograph things because I let fear get the better of me and I always regret it. Embarrassment is temporary. A photograph you have forever. 

So, the next time you’re out photographing — being more open and stepping thru your fears — remember that worthwhile photos aren’t always about the WOW things in life. Sometimes they’re just simple things that make you think , “Huh…look at that.” Like a smiley face on a metal plate hanging from a wire over a roadside barrier.

A Few Words From The Best Ever

nachtwey Whether or not you are a photojournalist, if you've not yet seen this video, take 3:28 to hear from perhaps the greatest war and conflict photographer ever - James Nachtwey.

Like his images, Nachtwey's Lifetime Achievement Award (from ASME) acceptance speech is concise, powerful and important.

If you've got an extra minute, once you've watched, reflect on what he has to share. If you have longer, there are other links on the page worth exploring.

A LOOK BACK ON THE CAREER OF JAMES NACHTWEY: http://ti.me/1Dq4SQE LIFE AFTER WAR - PHOTOS FROM WALTER REED HOSPITAL: http://time.com/3595931/life-after-war-james-nachtweys-photographs-from-walter-reed/ THE ROHINGYA, BURMA'S FORGOTTEN MUSLIMS: http://lightbox.time.com/2014/07/10/rohingya-burmas-forgotten-muslims/#1